Earlier today, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer tweeted the following:
"On the day the jobs report shows the need for more action on jobs, the House GOP passes the Americas Cup Act so US can host a sailing race."
Apparently the White House saw an opportunity to throw a perceived partisan shot, without knowing the facts.
Here are those facts:
1) Today the House passed the America’s Cup Act….. at the request of DEMOCRATIC LEADER NANCY PELOSI and other Members whose districts are impacted by the upcoming races. San Francisco is one of three areas hosting the America’s Cup.
2) The rest of the bill—aside from Rep. Pelosi’s waiver—creates American jobs. Why? Because House Republicans inserted substantive waivers that help keep and create jobs in America. If anyone at the White House had actually read the bill, that would be abundantly clear.
The letter below was sent by Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA) to Chairman John Mica (R-FL) in June. The provisions described below, along with additional waivers for additional Members’ districts, were included in the America’s Cup bill. Perhaps if the President weren’t so disengaged, the White House would know that. A sloppy error that mocks Leader Pelosi and shows disregard for the jobs created (and workers affected) in Pennsylvania, California, Alaska, Washington, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
June 30, 2011
The Honorable John Mica
Chairman – House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
2365 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Mica,
I am writing to express my strong support for prompt action on an issue that would create jobs, support domestic manufacturing and enhance U.S. energy security and national security. I respectfully request that Congress permit the United States Coast Guard to issue a certificate of documentation with a coastwise endorsement for LNG GEMINI, LNG LEO, and LNG VIRGO. It would do so by simply eliminating a government impediment for the domestic operation of U.S.-built tanker vessels.
U.S. shipbuilders constructed these vessels in domestic shipyards and they originally operated under U.S. flags. The ships were later re-registered under foreign flags and placed in international trade. Congressional action is necessary to return these ships to U.S. flags and allow them to engage in domestic coastwise trade. Removing this regulatory barrier will support high-paying, quality jobs both in my district and in the U.S. by:
- Over 600 high-paying onshore and offshore American jobs will be created, including 300-400 on construction projects in Pennsylvania's 7th district;
- American shipyards will provide maintenance for these vessels, with dry-dock overhauls requiring $25 to $30 million in investment;
- Operation of the ships will require $300 to $400 million in capital investment in dock and logistical facilities in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania;
- As is mandated by statute, all employees on these ships will be U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens;
- Domestic energy development will benefit as LPG, a value-added byproduct of natural gas production, will be transported to U.S. markets; and
- U.S. manufacturers will receive an economic, secure source of a vital feedstock enhancing the competitiveness of these employers.
This process does not involve any congressional earmark as defined in the Rules of the House, nor does it provide any limited tax benefit, nor any limited tariff benefit. No “Congressional earmark”, as defined in Rule XXI cited above, is authorized by this measure.
Moreover, jurisdiction over maritime matters is uniquely federal and Congress has long maintained its prerogative to directly administer the laws governing a vessel’s eligibility to return to domestic commerce. There is no administrative process available to reflag these ships for this service, thus only an Act of Congress can restore their coastwise endorsements.
Congress has an opportunity to take a simple, common-sense action that requires no government expenditures and will immediately support long-term U.S. employment, energy production and economic growth. It is especially critical that action be taken quickly in order to help ensure that the shipping capacity of these vessels can be dedicated to coastwise transportation of U.S. resources to U.S. manufacturers. To this point, I respectfully request that we act expeditiously to ensure these waivers be given to the aforementioned ships.
I am unaware of any opposition to this issue and therefore urge expeditious action on this straightforward, simple, yet vital request.
Thank you for your attention to this important issue.
Patrick Meehan, M.C.