The Georgia State Senate Rules Committee voted to strip a provision out of a broader bill that provided a tax exemption to Delta Airlines, the state’s largest employer. The move came two days after Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle promised to strike down any tax legislation that benefits Delta unless it reverses its decision to sever ties with the National Rifle Association.
“Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back,” the Lt. Governor wrote on Twitter.
The stripped provision was part of a larger $5 billion tax overhaul package for the state of Georgia. The governor of the state, Republican Nathan Deal indicated today that he would reluctantly sign the bill. Deal was a strong supporter of the provision, an elimination on the state’s jet fuel tax, that was estimated to have saved Delta $50 million.
Several days ago, the airline announced it be severing ties with the NRA. “Delta is reaching out to the NRA to let them know we will be ending their contract for discounted rates through our group travel program. We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website,” the company wrote on Twitter.
Several companies, Delta included, have initiated a boycott of the gun-rights group in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, FL, that left seventeen, mostly students, dead.
The NRA called the boycott shameful and vowed to remain firm in its. “Let it be absolutely clear. The loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission to stand and defend the individual freedoms that have always made America the greatest nation in the world,” the group said in a statement.
Cagle, who is running for governor of Georgia in this year’s election, said Delta was treating the NRA unfairly. “…They chose to single out the NRA and their membership – law-abiding gun owners. And I don’t think that’s right. I have to govern on principles, and obviously, they have a choice to make,” Cagle said.
A request for comment from Delta was not immediately returned.
Staunch supporters of the airline worked behind the scenes to mend the break but even they admitted the outlook was dim.
“I was hoping there would be a compromise, which is why we suggested putting the milk back in the bottle and start over. I don’t know that that’s going to happen,” Georgia House Speaker David Ralston said.