California lawmaker urges Senate to keep US goods on US ships

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) sent a letter to the Senate on Thursday asking the upper chamber not to weaken the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, known as The Jones Act.

The letter comes a day after Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMartha McSally fundraises off 'liberal hack' remark to CNN reporter Meghan McCain blasts NY Times: 'Everyone already knows how much you despise' conservative women GOP senator calls CNN reporter a 'liberal hack' when asked about Parnas materials MORE (R-Ariz.) filed an amendment to the law that would eliminate the requirement that all goods shipped between U.S. ports be carried by ships built in the U.S., owned by the U.S. and operated by a U.S. crew. 

“I have long advocated for a full repeal of The Jones Act, an antiquated law that has for too long hindered free trade, made U.S. industry less competitive and raised prices for American consumers,” he said.

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McCain went on to reference data from the Congressional Research Service, which found that it costs $6 a barrel to move crude oil from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast United States on a U.S. tanker and $2 a barrel on foreign tanker.

But in his letter to Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Senate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses Tensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum MORE (R-Alaska), chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneNo. 2 GOP leader eyes Wednesday of next week for possible votes on witnesses Restlessness, light rule-breaking and milk spotted on Senate floor as impeachment trial rolls on Republicans take aim at Nadler for saying GOP senators complicit in 'cover-up' MORE (R-S.D.), chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Duncan said the law keeps shipbuilding and ship operating jobs in the U.S.

“Further it guarantees that we will not be held hostage to whims and dictates of foreign ship owners and operators, or foreign mariners when ships and mariners are needed to respond to disasters or support national security requirements,” he said.