Delta Cut Ties With NRA. Now Republicans May Penalize Delta

Georgia lawmakers want to kill tax break
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2018 1:34 AM CST
Updated Feb 27, 2018 6:45 AM CST
Delta Penalized the NRA. Now Republicans May Penalize Delta
Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle speaks during a memorial ceremony at the state Capitol in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

Now that Delta Air Lines has ceased offering discounted fares to National Rifle Association members, some Republican lawmakers in Georgia say the airline should be punished. The group of Republicans, led by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, the frontrunner in this year's gubernatorial election, have threatened to torpedo a measure that would have eliminated the state's tax on jet fuel, saving the Atlanta-based airline tens of millions of dollars a year, CNN reports. The measure, which passed the Georgia House last week and is supported by Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, is being blocked in the state Senate and Cagle says he will kill it and any other tax legislation that benefits Delta "unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with the NRA."

Delta is one of Georgia's largest employers, and Deal described the tax break as part of a plan to "keep Georgia competitive as a major international hub of commerce." But as Senate president, Cagle—who has an A-plus rating from the NRA—will probably have enough influence to have the jet fuel measure dropped, the New York Times reports. "Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back," he tweeted Monday. Delta argues that its decision on NRA discounts "reflects the airline's neutral status in the current national debate over gun control." (On Sunday, the NRA slammed the "cowardice" of companies cutting ties with it in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting.)

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