Biden, Democratic National Committee will return political donations from Silicon Valley Bank executives

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WASHINGTON – The Democratic National Committee and President Joe Biden's 2020 campaign will return political donations tied to Silicon Valley Bank in the aftermath of the bank's collapse, the DNC told USA TODAY on Friday.

Biden's presidential campaign and PACs received at least $11,900 from SVB executives, according to records from the Federal Election Commission.

  • Silicon Valley Bank managing director Gerald Brady donated $5,600 to Biden for President in 2020, according to FEC records.

  • Claire Lee, the former brand ambassador and head of startup banking who took over one of Brady's roles running a division of Silicon Valley Bank, gave $6,300 to the Biden Victory Fund.

The Democratic National Committee received at least $32,250.

  • That number includes $17,050 from Brady, including a $5,000 donation in 2012.

  • It also includes $15,200 from Lee: $15,000 in 2018 and $200 in 2020.

  • Several other former Silicon Valley Bank executives donated in the past.

Biden's 2020 presidential campaign and the DNC will donate contributions from 2020 or later from Silicon Valley Bank CEO Greg Becker and Brady, a DNC spokesperson told USA TODAY.

Becker gave Biden's campaign $2,800, and Brady gave it $5,500. Brady also donated $12,050 to the DNC.

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Biden's presidential campaign is returning $8,400, and the DNC is returning $12,050.

The president called on Congress Friday to broaden the government's ability to hold executives accountable for bank collapses, saying he does not have the authority he needs to respond to the failures at SVB and Signature Bank.

Political donations returned after SVB collapse

SVB's collapse and the failure of New York's Signature Bank marked two of the largest bank failures in U.S. history.

The Biden administration said it would make whole the customers who held their money in these banks, although the banks' stockholders will not receive the same protection, and executives will be fired. Critics have called the move a "bailout," though Biden said taxpayer money won’t be used cover the losses.

Some Democrats have said they will return any donations they received tied to SVB or Signature Bank.

Spokespeople for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., former chair of the House Financial Services Committee, told CNBC and Politico, respectively, that they would donate the money to charity. Their offices did not respond to USA TODAY’s requests for comment.

Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., whose district includes part of Silicon Valley, will return all donations, the congressman's communications director, Marie Baldassarre, told USA TODAY. It’s not clear whether the money will go back to the donor or be donated to charity.

But most other lawmakers have remained silent on whether they'll keep the cash, including two of the biggest recipients of money from Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C. and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

McHenry, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, received at least $58,700 to his campaign and related PAC, and Warner's campaign received at least $27,200. Neither congressman's office returned USA TODAY's requests for comment.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: SVB collapse: Biden, DNC will return political donations tied to bank