skip to main content

S. 1894 (115th): A bill to exempt Puerto Rico from the coastwise laws of the United States (commonly known as the “Jones Act”).

Call or Write Congress

About the bill

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and left millions without electricity, as the only Category 5 hurricane to ever strike the territory. But critics say that an obscure law from 1920 prevented disaster relief from being as effective as it could have been.

The Puerto Rico Humanitarian Relief Act would overturn that law.


The law is popularly called the Jones Act, formally named the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. It requires that all goods transported on water between U.S. ports be on American ships, for which both the owners ...

Sponsor and status

John McCain

Sponsor. Senator for Arizona. Republican.

Read Text »
Last Updated: Oct 2, 2017
Length: 4 pages

Sep 28, 2017
115th Congress, 2017–2019

Died in a previous Congress

This bill was introduced on October 2, 2017, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted.


Sep 28, 2017

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

Oct 2, 2017
Ordered Reported

A committee has voted to issue a report to the full chamber recommending that the bill be considered further. Only about 1 in 4 bills are reported out of committee.

S. 1894 (115th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

This bill was introduced in the 115th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2017 to Jan 3, 2019. Legislation not enacted by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“S. 1894 — 115th Congress: A bill to exempt Puerto Rico from the coastwise laws of the United States (commonly ...” 2017. May 23, 2019 <>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.