The Georgia Senate has approved a bill that effectively kills the airline tax cut on jet fuel that has been actively sought after by Delta Air Lines. The state’s House of Representatives also approved the new version of the bill that included the deletion of the tax cut for the airline. The move by the two houses, which is controlled mostly by Republicans, was in response to the airline’s decision to sever its ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA), effectively ending its discount for members traveling to the association’s annual convention.
The bill is set to arrive on the desk of Republican Governor Nathan Deal, who has already expressed his intention of signing the bill into law. According to the New York Times, the removal of Delta Air Lines’ tax exemption is one of the most extreme punishments yet to be dished out by pro-gun officials against big corporations. The move may also be construed as a fair warning to other companies who are thinking of changing their position on gun control and the NRA. Several corporations have also expressed their intention of ending their ties with pro-gun movements and organizations following the tragic mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, which resulted in 17 casualties.
Aside from Delta Air Lines, companies such as Hertz and MetLife Insurance have also ended their ties with the NRA following the tragic shooting incident last month. During its announcement of the policy change, Delta representatives had explained that they just wanted to be neutral in the ongoing national gun debate. Delta is currently one of the state’s biggest employers and the biggest contributor to the success of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. The recently approved bill may also end up hurting the state’s reputation of being a business-friendly environment. Democrats have condemned the recent approval of the bill citing that it could harm the state’s ability to attract new businesses.
According to Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Delta’s move to single out NRA members and law-abiding gun owners was not right and companies simply cannot expect conservatives to take their attacks lying down. Republican lawmakers viewed the stripping of the tax exemption as a necessary move to counter the continuing pressure from liberals and big businesses.