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Author: Lindsey Essaff

John McCain moves to repeal the Jones Act

Senator John McCain introduced a bill that would repeal the Jones Act, or the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. The Jones Act requires that all shipments between US ports be made on US controlled, made, and manned ships. McCain believes that the law hinders free trade and increases costs for US consumers. Originally created as a protectionist policy following World War I, McCain calls the policy “an archaic and burdensome law that hinders free trade, stifles the economy, and ultimately harms consumers.” This is not the first time he has attempted to repeal the Jones Act as well. In...

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Health, taxes and security among Gonzalez-Colon’s priorities in Congress

Representative Jenniffer González-Colón was elected to Congress this term, meaning that she sat for the first time on January 3, 2017. In the seven and a half months since the beginning of her term, González-Colón has not been idle. Gonzalez-Colón has sponsored ten bills, including HR 259–”To prevent the territories of the United States from losing current Medicaid funding”; HR 2530–”Earned Income Tax Credit Equity for Puerto Act of 2017”; and HR 2531–”Puerto Rico Medicare Part B Equality Act of 2017.” Of her sponsored bills, however, none have made it farther than introduction and referral to a committee. She...

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US territories excluded from voter data request

In May, President Trump created the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to investigate his claims of voter fraud in the most recent presidential election. The commission, chaired by Vice President Pence and vice-chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, issued letters to all secretary of state offices in the US, including the District of Columbia. The letters requested voter data ranging from names and birthdays, to social security numbers and voter history, from the past ten years. Many states have refused, in part or full, the request, arguing that the election process is a state right and...

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Puerto Rico Congresswoman demands Congressional action on statehood

Puerto Rico’s representative to Congress, Jenniffer González-Colón, spoke on the House Floor on June 23, in regards to Puerto Rican statehood. She spoke regarding the plebiscite that was recently held, encouraging Congress to listen to the Puerto Rican people when, “The American citizens of Puerto Rico overwhelmingly voted in favor of becoming the 51st State of our great Nation. This is the second time in the past five years where [her] constituents have expressed their will to join their fellow American citizens as equals in our Union.” Her speech continues with a promise to “soon… introduce legislation to set...

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Rob Bishop warns Oversight Board is violating PROMESA

The Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Rob Bishop (R) of Utah, recently sent a letter to the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico Chairman Jose Carrion stating that he believed that the Oversight Board was in violation of PROMESA. PROMESA, the 2016 economic rescue bill, originated in Bishop’s committee, and included language that kept previous legislation and compromises out of the Board’s reach. One such compromise concerns the Puerto Rico’s power utility service, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, and its debt. A restructuring agreement was created, and approved by Congress, but the Oversight...

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