Graham threatens ‘war’ over New York’s new bill that would require Chick-fil-A to be open on Sundays

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Friday he would introduce legislation to withhold federal funds from any city or state government that forces Chick-fil-A to stay open on Sundays.

“This is war,” Graham wrote in a thread on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, in response to a New York proposal requiring some of the franchise’s locations to operate seven days a week.

A bill filed last week in the New York State Assembly attempts to require some Chick-fil-A locations to operate every weekday, despite the fast food chain’s longstanding policy to keep its restaurants closed on Sundays for religious reasons.

“If this goes forward, I will be introducing legislation withholding federal funds from any city or state that requires @ChickfilA to stay open on Sunday,” Graham added. “New York is off base and their actions will not go unanswered.”

NEW YORK BILL WOULD FORCE SOME CHICK-FIL-A LOCATIONS TO OPEN ON SUNDAYS

The New York bill would impact all food vendors operating at rest stops owned by the New York State Thruway Authority, requiring them to remain open every day in an effort to give New Yorkers and those traveling in the state a full variety of food options. 

“The founders of Chick-fil-A made a decision early on to close on Sunday, consistent with their faith,” Graham wrote on X. “For any government to try to reverse this decision flies in the face of who we are as Americans.”

“Chick-fil-A is a great company with thousands of locations serving the public with a quality product and taking care of their employees,” the South Carolina senator continued. 

The franchise currently has 3,000 locations in the U.S., including several restaurants owned by New York’s Thruway Authority. New York’s proposed legislation would impact all future contracts.

CHICK-FIL-A TO OPEN 3,000TH RESTAURANT, DONATE $300K TO CELEBRATE MILESTONE

chick-fil-a sign on New York restaurant

The proposal cites Chick-fil-A as the inspiration behind the legislation.

“While there is nothing objectionable about a fast food restaurant closing on a particular day of the week, service areas dedicated to travelers is an inappropriate location for such a restaurant,” the bill’s justification reads. “Publicly owned service areas should use their space to maximally benefit the public. Allowing for retail space to go unused one seventh of the week or more is a disservice and unnecessary inconvenience to travelers who rely on these service areas.”

State Rep. Tony Simone, a Democrat who introduced the bill, said it is intended to give travelers in the Empire State a diversity of food options, the Associated Press reported.

“Look, if you want to eat fried chicken while traveling over the holidays, then Chick-fil-A should be open on Sundays,” Simone said.

According to Chick-fil-A’s website, the franchise has kept stores closed on Sundays since founder S. Truett Cathy opened his first restaurant in 1946 because he “saw the importance of closing on Sundays so that he and his employees could set aside one day to rest or worship if they choose.”

Fox Business’ Breck Dumas contributed to this report.

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