Sen. Mazie Hirono is continuing to defend the Jones Act in an interview with Politico, after a floor speech last week in which she voiced strong opposition to  an amendment that would dismantle the Jones Act.

The Jones Act requires that goods shipped between U.S. ports be carried by vessels built in the country and owned and operated by Americans. During last year’s election season, many candidates for Hawaii offices said its repeal would reduce the high cost of living here.

Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, is pushing an amendment to the Keystone XL pipeline legislation pending in the Senate that would repeal the Jones Act. The Politico article states:

“Sen. Mazie Hirono has joined the growing chorus against Sen. John McCain’s latest attempt to scuttle the Jones Act, arguing repeal would cost Hawaii thousands of jobs and jeopardize its shipping lifeline.

“’In a state like ours, which is basically 80 to 90 percent dependent on shipping to bring in all the food and the goods that we need, the Jones Act provides that kind of reliability that we need,’ the Democratic member of the Senate Armed Services Committee said in an interview Tuesday in her Capitol Hill office.

“’I’d like to see a strong shipbuilding manufacturing industry in our country,’ she said. ‘Keeping the Jones Act is critical. This is not the time for us to be creating instability and uncertainty in either of those areas of concern.’”

Sen. Mazie Hirono chairs a Senate Veteran's Affairs Committee Field Hearing at the Oahu Veterans Center on August 19, 2014.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

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