Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) is “stunned” American Airlines issued a statement opposing an election integrity bill, Senate Bill 7, following passage early Thursday morning, as the CEO admittedly did not read the legislation.
“I am stunned that American Airlines would put out a statement saying ‘we are strongly opposed to this bill’ [Senate Bill 7],” the lieutenant governor said, “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.”
Patrick said he heard the same outcries from corporations in 2011 — claims that Texas passed a “voter suppression” bill when it passed a photo voter ID bill. He said the opposite of voter suppression occurred.
“Voter turnout in Texas soared from 7,993,851 in 2012 to 11,144,040 in 2020, a 39 percent increase. Gubernatorial election voter turnout has increased by 76 percent since photo voter ID was passed,” he said in his statement.
The Texan stated:
Texans are fed up with corporations that don’t share our values trying to dictate public policy. The majority of Texans support maintaining the integrity of our elections, which is why I made it a priority this legislative session. Senate Bill 7 includes comprehensive reforms that will ensure voting in Texas is consistent statewide and secure.
Patrick went on to say that in 2017, American Airlines “led the fight to try to force us to allow boys to play girls sports in Texas and take away their scholarships. They are probably still fighting for that today and it is likely they have not read Bill 29 either:”
— Patrick Svitek (@PatrickSvitek) April 2, 2021
The Texas State Senate passed Senate Bill 7 early Thursday morning. Republican State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R), who authored the legislation, describes it as a bill aimed to make it “easy to vote and hard to cheat.”
American Airlines released a statement Thursday afternoon saying, “Earlier this morning, the Texas State Senate passed legislation with provisions that limit voting access.
The statement continued:
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.
Voting is the hallmark of our democracy, and is the foundation of our great country. We value the democratic process and believe every eligible American should be allowed to exercise their right to vote, no matter which political party or candidate they support.
The airline said it knows how difficult it was to fight for the right to exercise the constitutional right to vote. “Any legislation dealing with how elections are conducted must ensure ballot integrity and security while making it easier to vote, not harder,” expressing the belief that “we should break down barriers to diversity, equity and inclusion in our society – not create them.”