Florida lawmakers are following Georgia’s lead in punishing Delta Air Lines for cutting ties with the National Rifle Association.
The state’s lawmakers will also rebid a state rental car contract held by Enterprise who also cut tied with the NRA.
“We would do this to any company that wants to engage against political speech, whether it’s against the NRA or Planned Parenthood,” Rep. Blaise Ingoglia said to Politico.
He added, “Anyone can engage in political speech, but we have a duty to watch and make sure government money doesn’t underwrite it.”
NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer supported the lawmakers’ actions, though she was not involved in the negotiations.
“Taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be used to benefit businesses who discriminate against a segment of the taxpayers,” she said.
Democrat Rep. Sean Shaw voiced his opposition on Twitter.
The fuel tax was discussed on Florida’s house floor last Friday led by House Speaker Richard Corcoran.
The amendment to the chamber’s $400 million tax package takes away “a proposal to lower the tax airlines pay for gas from 4.2 to 2.8 cent per gallon. The provision is worth roughly $20 million annually,” according to Politico.
The provision against Enterprise was put in the House budget document plan and would give the Department of Management Services $20,000 to “competitively procure rental vehicle services.”
According to NBC, Delta is one of many large corporations that have cut ties with the NRA in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that left 17 people dead, and claimed shortly after that it would not be offering discounted fares for members of the NRA to attend their annual meetings.
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian explained that they ended the discount so the company could “remain neutral” in the gun control debate.
“Our people and our customers have a wide range of views on how to increase safety in our schools and public places, and we are not taking sides,” he wrote. “We are supporters of the 2nd Amendment, just as we embrace the entire Constitution of the United States.”
After this announcement, Georgia’s Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle threatened Delta Air Lines over what he suggests is unfair treatment.
“I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA,” Cagle tweeted. “Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.”
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