WASHINGTON—Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell threatened “serious consequences” for corporations that retaliate against Republican-led efforts to pass new state election laws, as Republicans in Washington and elsewhere intensified criticism over big corporations’ political stances.
“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, warning against what he described as private-sector advocacy for progressive policy goals, from environmental regulation to gun control.
Mr. McConnell 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, which drew criticism from major Georgia-based corporations and prompted Major League Baseball to decide to move this summer’s All-Star Game and amateur draft out of suburban Atlanta. Mr. McConnell said the legislation had been misrepresented as racist by opponents.
The Georgia voting law is the latest instance of big corporations wading into a political fight as chief executive officers face increasing pressure to take stances on social issues, and draw criticism as a result.