SEN. JOHN MCCAIN TAKES AIM AT JONES ACT, AGAIN
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Sen. John McCain will once again introduce legislation to repeal sections of the Jones Act. McCain who is to U.S. Merchant Mariners what Jane Fonda once was to Vietnam era naval aviators, announced last week that he plans to offer an amendment on the Senate floor that would eliminate the U.S.-build requirement for tankers engaged in the U.S. coastwise trade.
The Arizona Republican, like Arizona Democrats before him has made repealing the Jones Act a focus of his Congressional career. We always suggest following the money to figure out why arid state Federal legislators of both parties have a history of opposing the U.S. fleet. We think they are free to respond to foreign interest since they have no maritime constituency in their respective states to take offense or understand their treachery. Just because something is legal and you can get away with it doesn't mean its isn't the moral equivalent of treason. Full disclosure here, Republican or not, we don't like McCain . The aging senator now says he plans to attach an anti-Jones Act amendment to S 2012, the “Energy Modernization Act of 2015.”
The amendment as filed by McCain would change section 12112 of title 46 of the United States Code (46 U.S.C. 12112 – Coastwise Endorsement) by eliminating the U.S.-build requirement for oil and gasoline tankers involved in U.S. coastwise trade. S 2012 is sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Alaska and Hawaii have been joining with the arid states of late to eliminate the Jones Act. They claim that foreign carriers could bring goods from the United States cheaper. They of course are already receiving foreign goods via foreign carriers the same as the rest of the United States. Of course such non contiguous state proponents of scrapping cabotage laws have no idea how they will assure commerce and communications with the mainland if war were to discourage these foreign carriers. Only the American Merchant Marine, a naval auxiliary by law, is committed to keep these sea lines of communication open, even at the risk of mariner lives. Murkowski's bill may be up for consideration on the Senate floor in the near future, at which point McCain could offer his amendment.
This is just a continuation of a long history of attempts by McCain to dismantle the Jones Act, which requires that all goods shipped between U.S. ports be carried on vessels built in the United States and owned and operated by Americans, in other words the U.S. Merchant Marine. .The desert air breathing McCain doesn't even just confine his efforts to riders on maritime related bills. Last year, he threatened to attach a similar amendment to a bill to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline, but he ultimately decided not to offer the legislation. One wonders how McCain ever got through the U.S. Naval Academy with such a poor knowledge of the security of water borne transport, but then he did grow up to be a "Zoomie", probably had his brains scrambled.
The U.S.-flag fleet, owners and labor, along with Congressional supporters of the American maritime industry, have consistently mounted a unified front in opposition to McCain’s long-running and tiresome anti-Jones Act crusade. but the attacks never stop. Follow the money.
How domestic Shipping Has Preserved The U.S. Merchant Marine since colonial times