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American Airlines Learns From Delta’s Misstep, Opposes Texas Voting Rights Bill Before It Passes

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American Airlines learned from Delta Air Lines’ misstep and issued a statement expressing opposition to a voting bill in Texas before it has been passed into law.

“To make American’s stance clear: We are strongly opposed to this bill and others like it. As a Texas-based business, we must stand up for the rights of our team members and customers who call Texas home, and honor the sacrifices made by generations of Americans to protect and expand the right to vote,” American Airlines said in the statement.

“Any legislation dealing with how elections are conducted must ensure ballot integrity and security while making it easier to vote, not harder. At American, we believe we should break down barriers to diversity, equity and inclusion in our society—not create them,” the statement said.

American Airlines directed The Liberty Buzz to their statement after reaching out for comment.

On Thursday, the Texas state Senate advanced a new voting bill, SB7, after more than seven hours of debate.The bill would change a number of aspects surrounding voting in the state such as limiting extended early voting hours, a statewide limit on polling place hours, ban drive-thru voting locations and prohibit public employees from sending unrequested absentee ballot applications.

The bill would also give poll watchers more access to voters, allowing them to video record voters who receive assistance filling out ballots from election workers.

The statement by American Airlines comes shortly after Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines issued conflicting remarks in response to a similar voting bill passed in Georgia last week.

On March 26, Delta CEO Ed Bastian issued statement saying that the Georgia bill “improved considerably” and praised that the bill “expands weekend voting, codifies Sunday voting and protects a voter’s ability to cast an absentee ballot without providing a reason.”

American Airlines Boeing 777-323ER arrives at Los Angeles international Airport on January 13, 2021 in Los Angeles. On April 1, the company issued a statement expressing opposition to a voting bill in Texas before it has been passed into law.
AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/Getty

Bastian’s initial statement prompted criticism from many and he issued a new statement a few days later expressing a much different stance, saying that it was “unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values.”

“After having time to now fully understand all that is in the bill, coupled with discussions with leaders and employees in the Black community, it’s evident that the bill includes provisions that will make it harder for many underrepresented voters, particularly Black voters, to exercise their constitutional right to elect their representatives. That is wrong,” Bastian wrote in the memo published on Wednesday.

The conflicting statements issued by Delta prompted a response from Kemp, where he said, “Today’s statement by Delta CEO Ed Bastian stands in stark contrast to our conversations with the company, ignores the content of the new law, and unfortunately continues to spread the same false attacks being repeated by partisan activists.”

Similarly, after the statement from American Airlines, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick issued a response saying that he was “stunned” the airline issued a statement in opposition of the bill “just minutes after their government relations representative called my office and admitted that neither he nor the American Airlines CEO had actually read the legislation.”

“Texans are fed up with corporations that don’t share our values trying to dictate public policy,” Patrick’s statement on Thursday said. “By the way, this is the same American Airlines that in 2017 led the fight to try to force us to allow boys to play girls sports in Texas and take away their scholarships.”

My response to the @americanair statement on #SB7: #txlege pic.twitter.com/Go5PXoxq20

— Office of the Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (@LtGovTX) April 2, 2021

The Liberty Buzz reached out to Patrick’s office for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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