WASHINGTON—Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell threatened “serious consequences” for corporations that retaliate against Republican-led efforts to pass new state election laws and warned against what he described as private-sector advocacy for progressive policy goals, from environmental regulation to gun control.
“It’s jaw-dropping to see powerful American institutions not just permit themselves to be bullied, but join in the bullying themselves,” Mr. McConnell (R., Ky.) said in a statement Monday.
He accused companies of “dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government,” and said that they “will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order.”
Mr. McConnell pointed specifically to the backlash against a controversial election bill passed by the GOP-controlled Georgia legislature last month along party lines. He said the legislation had been misrepresented as racist by opponents.
Mr. McConnell didn’t mention any companies by name, and didn’t specify what consequences they might face.
Delta Air Lines Inc.,
and other companies condemned the Georgia law last month following criticism from civil-rights advocates who said the new rules would make it harder for Georgians—especially minority voters—to cast ballots. Major League Baseball also said it would move this summer’s All-Star Game and amateur draft out of suburban Atlanta in response to the law.
Georgia Republicans who championed the law countered that changes to mail-in voting are needed to improve election integrity in the state, which is trending from red to purple. President Biden narrowly won Georgia’s 16 electoral votes in November, and two Democrats,
won a pair of runoffs in January to hand their party control of the Senate.
Mr. McConnell accused Democrats of spreading misinformation about the Georgia legislation and other state-level GOP election bills to justify their plans to push a sweeping voting-rights bill through the Senate that would expand early voting, loosen state voter-ID laws and make mail-in voting permanent nationwide. The bill, For the People Act, already passed the House, 220-210. No Republicans voted for it.
“This power grab is impossible to defend, so the left wants to deflect. Instead of winning the debate, they want to silence debate by bullying citizens and entire states into submission,” Mr. McConnell said.
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