US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell lambasted corporate America on Monday for criticising the controversial new voting laws in Georgia, warning top executives to “stay out of politics”.
“I found it completely discouraging to find a bunch of corporate CEOs getting in the middle of politics,” Mr McConnell told a press conference in his home state of Kentucky on Monday. “My advice to the corporate CEOs of America is to stay out of politics. Don’t pick sides in these big fights.”
His statement came days after companies such as Coca-Cola, Delta and dozens of others condemned the new voting law in Georgia for restricting votes among minorities and the poor. Major League Baseball also announced that it would move the All-Star Game from the state in protest.
Mr McConnell is not the only Republican pushing back against the corporate houses for criticising the new laws. Some GOP lawmakers have also called for boycotts of some major brands.
Members of the Georgia House Republican Caucus requested the president of the Georgia Beverage Association to remove all Coca Cola products from an office suite after the company publicly condemned the bill.
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In line with the party’s position, Mr McConnell pointedly warned the big businesses of “serious consequences” if they choose sides. “Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The new voting law, introduced in the wake of narrow losses to Democrats, institutes sweeping changes to election protocols, making absentee ballots harder. The law also strips power from state and local election officials and gives it to the legislator. It criminalises the handing out of food, drink or other benefits to voters waiting in long lines at polling stations.
Though his legal challenges to the result failed, his claims have led to a series of bills that are being introduced across different states constraining the right to and ease of casting a ballot. The Brennan Center for Justice found that 47 states introduced at least 361 bills that are aimed at imposing more restrictions on voting.
Additional reporting from the wires
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