GOP Senators Take Their Performative Feud With The MLB To A New, Legislative Level

US Senator Ted Cruz (L), Republican of Texas, speaks with colleague Josh Hawley of Missouri during a joint session of Congress to count the electoral votes for US President at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, Januar... US Senator Ted Cruz (L), Republican of Texas, speaks with colleague Josh Hawley of Missouri during a joint session of Congress to count the electoral votes for US President at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021. - Congress is meeting to certify Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election, with scores of Republican lawmakers preparing to challenge the tally in a number of states during what is normally a largely ceremonial event. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 13, 2021 1:15 p.m.

Batter up!

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) are taking another swing at Major League Baseball for its decision to move its All-Star game out of Georgia in response to the state’s restrictive voting law.

On Tuesday, the group of Republican senators announced legislation that they said would put an end to the MLB’s special immunity from antitrust laws — retribution for the league’s decision to pull out of Georgia.

“Monopolies and liberty are not compatible,” Hawley told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight the night before the introduction of the legislation. “No corporation should be so big or so powerful that it can control the political process, that it can override the will of the voters.”

The legislation stands no chance in the Senate, which is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.

The MLB’s antitrust exemption dates back to a 1922 Supreme Court and has been repeatedly upheld. The exemption primarily allows the MLB to prevent franchise moves without owner approval.

Republican lawmakers first floated the idea of removing the MLB’s federal antitrust exception soon after the MLB announced its Georgia decision, with Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) instructing his staff to draft legislation.

Republicans, fans as they are of “letting the free market decide,” have called for boycotts of corporations that have spoken out against Georgia GOP lawmakers’ restrictive voting law.

Shortly after the CEOs of Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines came out against the Georgia law, state Republicans voted to revoke a tax break from Delta and called for the removal of Coca-Cola products from the state house.

Former President Trump joined in on the boycotting spree.

“Boycott baseball and all of the woke companies that are interfering with Free and Fair Elections,” he ranted in a statement through his Save America PAC. “Are you listening Coke, Delta, and all!”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) struggled to denounce the corporate protest over Georgia’s restrictive voting law, proclaiming that corporate executives should “stay out of politics,” but quickly clarifying that he wasn’t talking about political donations. (McConnell’s campaign received more money than any other candidates in the 2020 election cycle from CEOs of companies on the S&P 500 Index, according to an analysis by MarketWatch.)

McConnell walked back his remarks the next day by saying that he his comments weren’t stated “very artfully” and that companies are entitled to be involved in politics.

“My principal complaint is, they didn’t read the darn bill,” McConnell said, referring to corporate criticism of the new Georgia law.

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