Sen. John McCain Introduces Amendment That Will Destroy More American Jobs

John McCainRemember when Sen. John McCain was the Republican you kinda sorta liked, at least up until the point where his 2008 presidential campaign put the Quitta from Wasilla on the national stage? How about that time when he proclaimed “I have to tell you. Sen. Obama is a decent person and a person you don’t have to be scared of as president of the United States,” in response to an angry crowd of Republican voters back in October of 2008?


Remember how you felt sorry for him in 2000 when Karl Rove unloaded an absolutely vile, disgusting smear campaign during the Republican presidential primaries that secured the nomination for George W. Bush? Heck, I even voted for him in those primaries, which was the last year that I voted for any national Republican candidate.

Well, rest assured that any sympathy or ounce of grudging respect you may have harbored for the guy thanks to his occasional refusal to go along with the rest of the GOP can now be safely tossed aside. Why? Because just like every other Senate Republican, he has no problem screwing over American workers if that’s what it means to make some extra money for corporations.

The shipbuilding industry, Mississippi’s largest private employer, is warning that an amendment Sen. John McCain filed last week to the Keystone XL pipeline bill could do serious damage.

The language in McCain’s amendment removes the requirement that vessels that operate exclusively in American waters be built in the U.S. The mandate is part of the Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act, which Congress passed in 1920. Beyond U.S. construction, the law also requires that ships subject to it be American-owned and crewed by U.S. citizens or permanent residents. (Source)

What does this mean for Mississippi and other states with ship building industries? It would devastate them. With the certain elimination of well-paying ship industry jobs, the losses would create a ripple effect in local economies in cities like Biloxi and elsewhere as the building would take place in foreign countries.

Shipbuilding advocacy groups say it would sink shipyards, including those on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

According to the U.S. Maritime Administration, shipbuilding represents 23,450 jobs in Mississippi. The industry’s economic impact to the state’s GDP is $2 billion, figures from the American Maritime Partnership show. (Source)

Taking $2 billion out of any state’s economy is harmful and in the case of Mississippi it would take more than 2% immediately out of the GDP, and even more as the loss of the industry creates further economic downturn in a state that already finished last in GDP growth in 2013. More than that, it would allow ships owned by foreign entities to operate exclusively in American waters which would put more than just ship building workers out of a job. This could mean that companies could replace many domestic offshore oilfield workers with foreign labor, which would be a big blow to areas like where I live here in Louisiana.


As much as conservative voters complain repeatedly about how President Obama is somehow hurting the economy (despite the fact Wall Street is doing great), it is actually politicians like Sen. John McCain who are shipping (pun not intended) their jobs off to foreign countries by removing protections like the Jones Act. Fortunately for the very people who hate him, President Obama intends to veto the Keystone XL pipeline bill that this amendment is attached to.

Here’s to hoping that one day, red state voters will wake up to the fact that corporations are not their friends, and neither are politicians like John McCain. I’m not going to hold my breath on this one though.



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  • David Buerkel

    It’s time for McCain to be put out to pasture!!!

    • BlueLion

      Some of us in Arizona are already working towards that goal for 2016.

  • Eg Kbbs

    I get that there are folks who argue for a totally unregulated, unfettered capitalism and the repubs have largely bought into this idea (which inherrently says that we are not connected to each other. Am I my brother’s keeper – which BTW was the first recorded attempt at coming up with a cover story to hide that a person was a murderer.)

    I get that the repubs are largely in the pocket of the banking industry and argue for unregulated capitalism with predatory lending, etc. but quickly change their tune when the banks’ own greed mortally wounds them.

    But what is McCain’s interest in the building of ships ? His amendment would do away with a requirement that those running ships from port to port in the USA would no longer have to be ships built by, owned by and operated by Americans, including American crews.

    • strayaway

      Your mention of “port to port” reminded me that McCain also supported Obama’s executive edict to allow Mexican truckers to traverse US highways to replace a law protecting Teamsters from just that. Technically, Mexican truckers now have to begin or end their trips in Mexico but on a route from Florida to LA, for instance, they would only have to touch base with Mexico.

      • Eg Kbbs

        I could understand that a little better as AZ, on the Mexican border, would likely have a lot of trucks from Mexico.

        OTOH – on the Jones Act, how many deep water ports does AZ have ? All I can come up with is that McCain is Machiavellan enough to want to hurt the economy of other states while leaving his own untouched ?

  • Mark Stone

    It’s another repubs job bill. Right? Uh wait a minute…5-6,000 jobs from the pipeline minus the 23450 shipbuilding jobs equals NEGATIVE SEVENTEEN TO EIGHTEEN THOUSANDS JOBS, YES TO NEGATVE JOBS! Oh Hell those 5-6,000 jobs are short term anyway so net result 23,400 jobs LOST! Guess it really is about jobs jobs jobs…NOT! Lets hope POTUS keeps that veto pen handy.

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  • Patrick Valenzano

    Someone’s fucking with John’s Aricept dosage again. Either that or he’s guzzling that Tar Sands oil again.

  • Richard Verdejo

    A puzzling question if I may…

    How much of the shipbuilding done in MS and elsewhere these days is COMMERCIAL rather than military?

  • Dan Childers

    Welcome to the new Republican policies, ol’ Miss. Remember this in 2016.

    • NightHawk2005

      If they do, Mississippi will probably strengthen its status as a GOP stronghold.

  • Jim Bean

    If ‘corporations are not their friends’ then why write a whole article bellyaching about something that McCain wants to do that would hurt them? If the shipbuilding/crewing jobs are lost, so what? Obama can find part time work for them and they’ll have more time to devote to self. Win/win.

    I need to go lay down. My head hurts.

    • Cemetery Girl

      Clearly he isn’t a friend to those that will be laid off.

    • Avatar

      I know you knew that Obama is working overtimes to protect shipyard jobs vigorously. You just want to spit out something that does NOT agree with the real world.

      • Jim Bean

        “Obama is working overtime.” Right.

      • Avatar

        He have lowest amount of vacations ever since before FDR. It sure says it all.

      • Jim Bean

        Not quite all. He has spent twice as much time fundraising as GW but he has it recorded as time spent ‘on-the-job.’

      • Avatar

        Debunked for billionth of times. (eyes rolling up) That is exactly reason why you have ZERO credibility in first place.

    • horcho

      thinking must be really bad for you,giving you headaches and all but its probably not thinking but thinking like you do makes everyone’s head ache do us all a favour quit working overtime at be an a$$hole.

      • Jim Bean

        Why did you choose to say that rather than offer a thoughtful counterpoint?

  • Ubiquitousnewt

    I really couldn’t give two shits less about anyone in Mississippi, let alone an industry there, let alone some archaic bullshit jobs like *the shipbuilding* industry. I would be fine if McCain sells the whole damn state to Iran.

    You’re stretching here.

    • Mrs_oatmeal

      Tell that to the people that would then need Federal Assistance. More people using government programs and then the Republicans can blame it on Obama’s bad policies. Face palm!

  • RBurton

    I was in the Merchant Marines for 27 years and without the Jones Act, American shipping will be flushed right down the toilet. That would include tankers running between U.S. ports and Alaska/Hawaii, grain ships, RO/RO’s, etc. I don’t know what McCain has to gain by eliminating the Jones Act, but it sounds pretty shady to me. The AMO (American Maritime Officers) union tends to be right wing with their PAF’s flowing mostly to Republicans but in this case, they should kiss Obama’s ass for veto’ing the KXL bill.

    • NightHawk2005

      Cheaper prices for goods for Arizona and easier interstate commerce for states that use ships to trade. Yeah, what could he possibly get out of this?

  • strayaway

    I’m glad to see this website’s sudden new concern for US workers’ jobs. McCain is a menace to US workers. He even voted for Obama’s amnesty bill that at least doubles the number of foreign IT workers brought into the US to replace middle class US IT workers at lower wages. McCain also supports free trade and Obama’s initiative to fast track the TPP.

  • Jimmybazball

    And the stupid rednecks keep voting for these azzhats.. Sorry, you vote for republicans and you’re getting what you asked for.. I wish I could feel sorry for you dumbbells but I just can’t do it…

    • NightHawk2005

      John McCain is a senator from Arizona, not Mississippi. His job is to support the people of Arizona, and this would lower prices for them. Sounds like the people who voted for him are getting exactly what they asked for and are quite happy with their senator.

      By the way, the Washington Post, no friend of the Republican Party, has also endorsed repeal of the Jones Act. This isn’t a partisan issue here.

  • GRA1965

    He compares shipping rates of this country to a countries that heavily subsidizes their own industries. Free trade is not fair trade.
    If lowering operating cost is essential to the survival of our economy, then why are we entrusting all of our major business decisions to companies with bloated upper management, CEOs with obscene salaries, and executives walking away with bonuses after showing a loss?
    With this free market thinking, American business is just too damn expensive, and we would all be better off if they were run and managed by foreign interests. Come to think of it, all american workers make too much damn money- bring in the guest workers.
    What I wish someone would explain to me is, how did America grow into the richest and most powerful nation in the world long before any free trade agreements, yet since the ’90s we’ve become economically unviable? If you support McCain, you support the outsourcing of potentially millions of jobs. Before you ask me to make that sacrifice for the good of the whole, are you prepared to do the same when your turn comes around?

  • Avatar

    Want to know how deep impact McCain’s bill on America? It include the provisions that will affect more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs to F-35 and next-gen destroyer program. Steel and metal workers would lose their jobs. The jet and ship frames would get to be outsourced to Eastern Europe and China. McCain a former military officer want to kill American jobs?

  • 4thStooge

    All these red states have no one to blame but themselves. And for those of us living in red states that voted right (and by “right” I mean “left”), we have to also live with the consequences.

  • Mama62

    Exactly who is McCain sucking up to? He knows full well the pipeline isn’t going to happen as long as this President is on office. There must be a very large carrot in his sights.

  • KyDem

    So does Elaine Chao’s family build ships that could operate on U.S. inland waters? That would be a grand explanation of why McCain is eager to forward such an amendment.

  • Nancy Bowman

    These nuts have to go! They are a travesty to our democracy! Remember this in 2016! That’s if they destroy us again by then. Just think we won’t have Obama to get us out of it this time. So much for bringing back the American Dream! THEY kill it every time!

    • NightHawk2005

      Getting Obama out of the way is a large benefit.

      • Nancy Bowman

        Not to me it’s not!
        Back here to the dilemma right here in the United States. He’s the first President that has gone up against the big money for the people. These big guys bought up most of the United States back in 2009 and aren’t willing to pay a living wage so anyone else can afford to buy anything no house no car…not even their own food for their family after working a 40 hour week. The recession is over. THEIR stocks are back up so should the wage. And the weeks vacation and 5 sick days and maternity leave and a head start in life. College use to be free…not anymore…guys at the top making too much money in tuition. I’m damn glad someone is fighting for US…THEY have oppressed long enough. Time to get back to the important parts…US and the USA. I love my President!. Sorry union/for the people roots run deep!!

      • NightHawk2005

        Obama’s not on the side of the people. Obama’s standing in the way. Someone is fighting for us, but it’s definitely not the guy in the Oval Office.

  • Patrick “Rainbow” Fortune

    Remember Senator McCain’s wife. His and her private profit and loss statements may now matter more to him than the economic well-being of the American people. I will not disparage Senator McCain’s honor for he is a true American warrior. I’m a veteran who didn’t spend years in a POW camp. All I’m saying is sometimes ideas become more important than the results of their flesh and blood implementation.

    • grannygrey50

      You need to know all the facts about McCain; he had a tendency in the military to do what johnny wanted to do, and that included being AWOL, taking a plane to FL without permission (and losing it in the water..he ejected), did that twice and his orders were to break off and he didn’t. He was trying to outdo Daddy and Granddaddy… and NO, he did not cause the fire on the Forrestal; his rockets were set off by the plane in front of him that burned. He got that pilot out. I did not like him, but at one time in Congress he was actually reasonably sane…but those days are gone…

  • Allan B. Ramirez

    I voted for this now old, bitter loser who can’t gracefully move on. He could have left the political stage with some dignity, instead he’s just demonstrating what a loser he is, not because Obama beat him, but because of his continued shameless attempt at relevancy.

  • NightHawk2005

    You present one side of the story here, the side that makes McCain look bad. You don’t present the side that makes this idea look good: the fact that it will become easier and cheaper for Mississippi to ship goods to other states through water.

    Currently, when states like Maryland and Virginia wish to import rock salt to use on their roads, they buy the salt from Chile, because it can get the salt there quicker and less expensive than it can from Louisiana because the Jones Act doesn’t apply to Chile. Those are imports that don’t need to happen. Another example came last year in New Jersey. The state got blanketed by snow, and Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, both Democrats, requested a waiver from the Jones Act from the federal government so the state could address its shortage of rock salt by importing salt from Maine, which would allow it to melt the snow and ice on the roads. The government said no, and New Jersey was stuck. The salt was ready to be delivered and could have reached New Jersey in two days or less. Because of the Jones Act, the salt could not be delivered for a full month.

    You can spin this whichever way you want, but McCain’s idea has merit and isn’t anywhere near as bad as you claim.