Stanley Yacht Services: The Patron Saint Of Lost Causes? Sen. McCain Still Seeking To Sink The Jones Act

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Patron Saint Of Lost Causes?
Sen. McCain Still Seeking To Sink The Jones Act

"Oh my God. I am deeply concerned," Sen. John McCain remarked sarcastically, placing his hand over his heart in mock anxiety.

That was his response last week on the Senate floor to the report of "a growing number of politicians ... taking aim at the prominent U.S. senator's crusade against the Jones Act."

McCain's bravado is unsurprising because the Republican from Arizona is no stranger to backlash on this topic; he has been trying to void certain provisions of the Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, for years. His latest attempt comes in the form of a proposed amendment to the Keystone XL pipeline bill currently under Senate consideration and, if adopted, would permit foreign vessels to engage in coastwise trade in the U.S.

Senator John McCain Launches New Attack on 'Antiquated' Jones Act
During his Senate floor remarks, McCain insisted the "domestic shipbuilding requirement of the Jones Act is outdated and should be abolished."  He acknowledged, however, the maritime lobby's intractable stance in favor of keeping restrictions in place that limit cabotage to American-flagged and -crewed vessels. Nonetheless, the senator is determined to have the Jones Act repealed, stating: "I will not quit on this issue."

With his current attempt apparently stalled for now - the proposed amendment has not been brought up during floor debates - McCain, who is also the incoming chairman of the Senate's Armed Services Committee, will no doubt redouble his efforts. How will he deal with the inevitable pushback? Perhaps his recent statement lends a clue: "All I can do is appeal to the patron saint of lost causes and keep pressing and pressing and sooner or later you have to succeed."

As always, we'll be standing watch. In the interim, don't hesitate to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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