In a primetime address Thursday night, President Joe Biden is expected to warn of the dire threat that extremist "MAGA Republicans" pose to U.S. democracy weeks ahead of pivotal midterm contests featuring many GOP election deniers.
Biden's remarks, set to begin at 8:00 pm ET, will come on the heels of an analysis showing that major U.S. corporations and business lobbying groups have donated nearly $25 million over the past year and a half to Republican lawmakers who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election in the wake of the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
In July alone, according to updated figures released Thursday by Accountable.US, Fortune 500 companies and trade groups such as Eli Lilly and the American Bankers Association PAC donated at least $731,000 to the 147 Republican election objectors.
White House officials have not provided any indication that Biden will use his speech to draw attention to the corporations funding Republicans who continue to perpetuate former President Donald Trump's "Big Lie" that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
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An unnamed senior administration official told NBC News ahead of Biden's speech that the president intends to confront "a movement that does not recognize free and fair elections, a movement that increasingly is talking about violence in response to actions they don't like or don't agree with, which is not the way democracies behave."
According to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, 67% of U.S. voters—including 69% of Republicans and 69% of Democrats—believe "the nation's democracy is in danger of collapse."
"When 18 states have passed 34 voter suppression laws just since the January 6th insurrection, Americans are right to be gravely concerned about the health of our democracy," Lindsey Melki, spokesperson for Accountable.US, said in a statement Thursday.
Lisa Gilbert, executive vice-president of Public Citizen, argued that Biden's Philadelphia address represents a major opportunity to "highlight the baseless attacks that have undermined the cornerstone of our country."
"With Trump melting down this week on Truth Social over his failed efforts to undermine the laws and norms of our country, encouraging violence, and further threatening our institutions, the stakes could not be higher," said Gilbert. "In ginning up his supporters, the former president again puts lives and the fabric of our nation at risk."
"Following tonight's fiery remarks, Biden can and should take concrete action to protect our democracy," Gilbert added. "Strengthening and protecting our elections, limiting the power of major contractors to warp elections through secret political money, and fighting government corruption can all be achieved through the stroke of his pen."
This content originally appeared on Common Dreams - Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community and was authored by Jake Johnson.