Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle warned Delta Air Lines on Monday that he would block any legislation that benefits the company unless it reverses its recent decision to cut ties with the National Rifle Association. Cagle proclaimed that corporations cannot “attack conservatives” without consequences.
The statement come just a few days after Delta released a statement of its own in which the company said they were severing their longstanding relationship with the NRA. The airline had a contract with the organization for “discounted rates through our group travel program.”
“We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website,” Delta tweeted over the weekend.
“Delta’s decision reflects the airline’s neutral status in the current national debate over gun control amid recent school shootings,” the company posted to the Delta New Hub. “Out of respect for our customers and employees on both sides, Delta has taken this action to refrain from entering this debate and focus on its business. Delta continues to support the Second Amendment.”
Delta and state lawmakers have been weighing reinstating a lucrative fuel tax break that has since expired. Lt. Gov. Cagle hopes to send a message to Delta by opposing any and all potential legislation that would benefit the airline.
“I will kill any tax legislation that benefits Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with the NRA,” Cagle, who heads the Georgia State Senate, tweeted Monday. “Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.”
Lt. Gov. Cagle was also not the only lawmaker who criticized Delta’s decision. In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, former state Sen. Rock Jeffares, a candidate for lieutenant governor, said that “if Delta is so flush that they don’t need NRA members’ hard-earned travel dollars, it can certainly do without the $40 million tax break they are asking Georgia taxpayers for.”
According to the AJC, the tax break would be $50 million and was pitched as an “airline tax break” rather than one that benefits solely Delta.
Delta joins a slew of companies cutting ties with the NRA following the Feb. 14 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that claimed the lives of 17 people and subsequent nationwide gun debate. United Airlines also notified the NRA that they would no longer offer discounted rates for the NRA’s annual meeting, and some banks and rental car companies have also terminated their partnerships. Other companies such as Fed-Ex have stated they have no intention of ending any discounts for NRA members.