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”).


The text of the bill below is as of Oct 2, 2017 (Placed on Calendar in the Senate). The bill was not enacted into law.

Summary of this 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.

Context

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 and crew must be American citizens. In the present day, that means such ships cost much more — often to the …


II

Calendar No. 232

115th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1894

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 28, 2017

(for himself, Mr. Lee, Mr. Lankford, and Mr. Flake) introduced the following bill; which was read the first time

October 2, 2017

Read the second time and placed on the calendar

A BILL

To exempt Puerto Rico from the coastwise laws of the United States (commonly known as the Jones Act).

1.

Exceptions to application of coastwise laws for Puerto Rico

Section 55101(b) of title 46, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

by redesignating paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) as paragraphs (2), (3), and (4), respectively; and

(2)

by inserting before paragraph (2), as redesignated, the following:

(1)

the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;

.

October 2, 2017

Read the second time and placed on the calendar