Republicans are threatening tax hikes and boycotts to punish companies that criticize restrictive voting laws

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Tom Porter
·3 min read
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Sens. John Barrasso, Mitch McConnell, and John Thune at the Capitol. Photo by Nicholas Kamm/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
  • Top Republicans have proposed punishing corporations that criticized GOP bills restricting voting.

  • Firms including Coca-Cola and American Airlines have criticized bills in Georgia and Texas.

  • In Georgia, GOP lawmakers attempted to strip Delta Air Lines of tax breaks.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Republicans are threatening tax hikes and boycotts to punish corporations that have spoken out against new voting legislation.

In a statement Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused corporations that oppose the bills and laws of acting like a "woke alternative government."

He said it would "invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order."

McConnell was responding to statements from companies including Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines criticizing a new law passed by Georgia Republicans that restricts voting.

Major League Baseball also pulled this year's All-Star Game from Georgia last week in protest over the law.

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American Airlines and Dell computers have criticized proposed voting restrictions in Texas, where they are based.

McConnell didn't detail what consequences the corporations might face, but Politico on Monday reported on warnings and legislative moves by Republicans to end tax breaks or extract other financial penalties.

  • Georgia's GOP-controlled House last week voted to end Delta's jet-fuel tax breaks, with the airline a major employer in the state. The measure was not passed by the Georgia Senate before it went into recess, leaving it off the table for now.

  • Prominent Republicans, including Sen. Josh Hawley, Sen. Mike Lee, and Donald Trump Jr., have advocated stripping MLB of its status as a sport and not a business under antitrust laws.

  • "Why are we still listening to these woke corporate hypocrites on taxes, regulations & anti-trust?" Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida tweeted, adding to a general chorus of criticism.

  • Former President Donald Trump in a statement last week called for supporters to boycott corporations including Coca-Cola and Delta.

  • Rodney Anderson, the chairman of the Dallas Republican Party, tweeted and later deleted a message on Friday suggesting canceling tax breaks American Airlines and Dell have in the state.

The escalating battle over voting restrictions places the Republican Party in the unfamiliar position of going against some of the biggest names in corporate America. The party has long positioned itself as the champion of low corporate taxes and free enterprise.

Among Trump's key policies as president was a huge 2017 corporate tax cut passed by the then-GOP-controlled Congress.

In recent years some corporations have eschewed their usual neutrality to take positions on so called culture-war controversies.

Trump during his presidency several times urged boycotts of companies he accused of opposing his administration's agenda, such as the tire firm Goodyear, and championed companies owned by allies and supporters.

Read the original article on Business Insider