- Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos are donating $US10 million to the With Honour Fund, a nonpartisan super PAC that aims to help elect veterans to the US House of Representatives, the fund announced on Wednesday.
- Bezos’ charitable gifts are relatively rare, but they have been well-timed in the past.
- Supporting a PAC focused on veterans could be well-received by the Pentagon, which will soon decide on which company receives the $US10 billion JEDI cloud-computing contract.
- Amazon, the company Bezos leads as CEO, chairman, and president, is currently seen as a frontrunner for the contract, but it faces competition.
Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos have made another charitable donation.
The couple is giving $US10 million to the With Honour Fund, the fund announced on Wednesday. The fund is a year-old super PAC that aims to help elect veterans running for either political party to the US House of Representatives. It had only raised $US7 million as of the end of July, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Bezos does not frequently publicize his charitable gifts. But when he does make donations, it seems he prefers for them to make a statement.
In January, he announced a donation of $US33 million in scholarship money to TheDream.us, an organisation dedicated to educating immigrants who were brought to the US as children, known as “Dreamers.” The announcement of the gift, which Bezos says was in honour of his father, who immigrated from Cuba, came just after Trump announced his intention to end the DACA program, which protected those children from deportation. Trump gave Republican lawmakers six months to replace it, but a deal has not yet been reached.
The donation to the With Honour Fund may be sending a message to the military-affiliated community: one of friendship. It would be a shrewd move by Bezos, as Amazon is in the running for a contract that will be awarded by the Pentagon.
The highly sought-after and lucrative contract, which involves the opportunity to provide cloud-computing services for the US military, is known as Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure, or JEDI.
Reports indicate that Amazon is close to securing the contract, with a person close to the matter telling Business Insider in April that the person couldn’t “imagine any possible way that the deal could be stopped.”
The deal hasn’t closed yet, however, and the Pentagon has just extended the deadline for proposals from interested parties to October 9.
There was a movement brewing over the summer among competitors and some lawmakers that argued that the Pentagon should award the contract to a consortium of companies jointly responsible for the cloud infrastructure, instead of one big company. That movement has floundered, and the contract has remained a single award to one company, the Washington Business Journal reported.
An Amazon spokesperson did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment on the With Honour Fund donation and its possible connection to JEDI.
But a donation like the one Bezos just made could be the nudge the military community is looking for to feel it is safe in Amazon’s cloud-computing hands.
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