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House Votes on Garamendi Jobs & Security Amendment

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January 29, 2015

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On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted on an amendment from Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-03), Ranking Member of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, that would create tens of thousands of American jobs in our nation’s shipyards, put thousands of American Mariners back on U.S. ships while strengthening U.S. national security. The U.S. will soon begin exporting natural gas in a liquefied state (LNG). The amendment would ensure that United States-flagged and built ships are used for this business. It would also make sure that this energy resource wouldn’t go to nations that sponsor terrorism or to any nation or corporation that steals America’s military technology or intellectual property through cyber-attacks.

“Any export of American energy, a strategic national asset, must serve America’s interest. We should not allow it to benefit our enemies. We must also use this opportunity to bolster another strategic national asset – our maritime sector. America’s national security and maritime commerce, which is crucial for our prosperity, both depend on the vibrancy of our maritime sector. The ships for the energy export business should be US-built and flagged. By requiring this in law, we can put thousands of Americans back to work at our shipyards and as merchant mariners on our ships. While this particular amendment did not pass today, I am encouraged by the bipartisan support for the concept. I will continue to push this job-creating legislation,” said Congressman Garamendi.

The amendment was offered to improve H.R. 351, a flawed bill that would cut short the review period for evaluating the public interest for LNG export applications. Unfortunately, the Republican-led House of Representatives passed H.R. 351 and failed to adopt Garamendi’s commonsense measure to create jobs and strengthen our national security.

Click here for text of Garamendi’s amendment. The Congressman offered a similar amendment before a House Rules Committee hearing on the bill earlier this week. While not approved in its current form, Republicans and Democrats held a productive discussion and expressed support for the idea behind the amendment.

Click here to watch that hearing.

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