2/23/2015 Editor's Note: Sen. John McCain is back at again this Congressional session attempting to repeal the Jones Act. If he succeeds the entire U.S. Merchant Marine will eventually be wiped out beyond recall. The national security benefits of the Jones Act fleet are far from "laughable" as McCain claims. As serving merchant mariners McCain is to us what Jane Fonda was to naval aviators in Vietnam.
MERCHANT MARINE and NAVAL INTERESTS:
| TYPICAL U.S. FLAG TUG (FOREGROUND) AND TOWBOAT (ASTERN OF THE BARGE) |
This type of transport moves millions of tons of critical cargo between and among the States of the United States. These vessels by law (The "Jones Act" must be manned by officers licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard who are citizens of the United States. This type of traffic passes under many critical bridges in the United States. Will you really feel safer during your next bridge crossing if you know that the Jones Act has been repealed and the tug and barge approaching your bridge is operated by a Mexican or Liberian crew?
It is very pain full for us to have to say this but.........
IT IS TIME FOR SENATOR JOHN McCAIN TO RETIRE
We beseech the people of Arizona to recall him before he does any more damage to our maritime security
This is very painful for us. We have described our organization as "moderately
conservative", and many of us are registered Republicans. We particularly can't
understand how a U.S.Naval Academy graduate could exhibit such a pitiful
understanding of sea power.Below is the latest news quoted directly from the
International Association of Masters Mates and Pilots newsletter THE WHEELHOUSE:
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN CALLS JONES ACTS NATIONAL SECURITY BENEFITS LAUGHABLE Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain has taken yet another swipe at the Jones Act, the law that requires that shipments from one U.S. port to another be carried on vessels owned by American citizens and operated by American mariners. The Jones Act is critical to the jobs of many MM&P members. It boosts our nations economy by keeping thousands of maritime jobs in the United States. It contributes to national security by making a fleet available for our military. Approximately 50 percent of the trained merchant mariners available for sealift in the event of a national emergency are employed in the Jones Act trades. But McCain has made repealing the Jones Act a central focus of his career. Last March, he tried to attach language repealing the Jones Act to an energy bill. His most recent attack on the law came in an article entitled Oil and the Ghost of 1920, that was posted to the Wall Street Journal Blog on Sept. 13. It is ludicrous to assert that the Jones Act contributes to national security, McCain was quoted as saying. These arguments are laughable, he added. The MM&P International President called McCains statements dangerous to the wellbeing of our country, and an insult to the American mariners who have been an indispensable component of our nations defense in every conflict since World War II. Repealing the Jones Act and allowing unrestricted operation of foreign vessels and crews along our coasts would put the United States at great risk, he added. We urge McCain and others fighting to repeal the Jones Act to focus on sound policy rather than sound bites. America must maintain U.S.-flag commercial sealift capability and the Jones Act helps guarantee our ability to do so.
Here is something else we can't understand. Previous Senators and Congressmen from Arizona of both parties have been just as troublesome in the past in this regard. Is it some kind of requirement for Representatives and Senators from Arizona to be anti domestic water transport, just because Arizona is one of a very few states that don't directly benefit? The Jones Act fleet that Senator McCain can't see any security value in includes the towboat and barge industry that moves America's grain to tide water and moves the heating oil and gasoline used in the Midwest up river by tank barge from Texas and Louisiana refineries at a fraction of the cost per mile of tank truck or tank rail car and highly competitive and sometimes cheaper than even pipelines where available. This same towboat and barge industry has been used in the past to move tanks, artillery pieces, and heavy military equipment to New Orleans for trans-shipment to ocean transport. Come on Senator McCain, tell us again how using foreigners for this service improves our economy, or our security. We just don't get it.
Republicans and Democrats alike have supported the Jones Act for decades because it is the right thing to do. Why are just a few in both houses of Congress trying to place the commercial vessels carrying commerce between and among our own states in foreign hand. Yes Mexican river pilots would be paid less than American pilots but would they be safer, more competent, less of a security risk?
What kind of fool's policy is this?