One U.S. congressman insisted on a key amendment to the PROMESA bill. He demanded that Puerto Rico should be exempted from the Jones Act, in order to create true economic progress on the island.
Get ready for this…that congressman was Gary Palmer, a REPUBLICAN from Alabama!
Congressman Gary Palmer, from the 6th district of Alabama
Palmer is not just a Republican. He is an extremely conservative Republican.
He is one of the “hard-line Republicans” who forced John Boehner out of the House speakership, because Boehner was “too liberal.”
A member of the Freedom Caucus, Palmer is one of only three congressmen to receive a “Liberty Score” of 100% from the Conservative Review. He ranked even higher than Sen. Ted Cruz, for his conservative values.
Yet this conservative Republican recognized the fairness, and economic common sense, of withdrawing the Jones Act from Puerto Rico.
PALMER’S PRESS RELEASE
On June 7, 2016, Palmer issued a press release. It stated all of the following:
“The Jones Act exemption helps Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, by reducing prices for goods transported by water. Two Puerto Rican economists found that from 1991-2010, the Jones Act cost Puerto Rican residents $16.4 billion.”
“Exempting territories from the Jones Act has been proven as a stable, successful way to improve a territory’s economic environment. Three U.S. territories have currently been exempted from the Jones Act strengthening their economies and encouraging business development. The U.S. Virgin Islands were exempted in 1992 and today shipping costs from the mainland are nearly half that of Puerto Rico.”
“If exempted, Puerto Rico’s power companies would be able to replace foreign-sourced oil with cheaper, cleaner, U.S.-sourced natural gas. Manufacturers in Puerto Rico would also no longer be at a cost disadvantage relative to Asia and other Latin American countries when shipping goods to the U.S.”
“Relief from the Jones Act would allow the cost of living in Puerto Rico to decline, allowing residents to stretch their wages further than before. If Congress wants to help Puerto Rico, we must provide them with opportunities to better their economy and lower their cost of living.”
The press paid attention to Palmer, and reported his fight against “crony capitalism” in Puerto Rico.
THE PALMER AMENDMENT
Palmer offered his amendment to H.R. 5278: the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), to exempt Puerto Rico from the Jones Act.
But it was never even considered.
On June 8, 2016, the House Committee on Natural Resources dismissed the Palmer amendment as “not germane” to the PROMESA bill. The committee allowed no debate, discussion or vote on the Palmer amendment.
The amendment was shut down as rapidly and forcefully as possible…as if it did not even exist.
A PATH FORWARD WITH PALMER
The House Committee on Natural Resources got what it wanted: a Control Board dedicated to collection of a $72 billion “debt,” and the exploitation of Puerto Rico’s tourism, coastal areas, and mineral resources.
But the long-term development of Puerto Rico can still reside in the hands of Puerto Ricans.
Senator John McCain has repeatedly attempted to repeal the Jones Act.
A broad ideological spectrum – including the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the New York Times and Washington Post – also support this repeal.
Congressman Palmer and Senator McCain should file a joint bill for the repeal of the Jones Act.
This should be accompanied… no, preceded…by a public education campaign to offset the predictable opposition from maritime and union lobbies, particularly the ones in Jacksonville, FL.
A massive march from Orlando to Jacksonville, comparable to the Civil Rights marches of the 1960s, could anchor this campaign.
But it all starts with Palmer and McCain…
Palmer and McCain, two Republican politicians, may hold the key to Jones Act repeal in Puerto Rico. This may sound strange.
But then again, Donald Trump is running for president.
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
Si prefiere ver la página web en español por favor visite: http://www.guerracontratodoslospuertorriquenos.com