Days after meeting with the Deputy Director of the CDC, Florida Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R) teamed up with Florida Rep. Brian Mast (R) to introduce legislation addressing the restart of cruise ship operations. The effort comes after Senators Rick Scott (R) and Marco Rubio (R) also introduced legislation to restart the cruise industry.
The Republican lawmakers argue that the industry is crucial to Florida’s economic growth, and they would like to see health and safety guidelines provided for cruise lines to resume operation.
The Careful Resumption Under Improved Safety Enhancements (CRUISE) Act “would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide COVID-19 mitigation guidance for cruise lines to resume safe domestic operations.”
Last week, after meeting with the Deputy Director of the CDC, Rep. Elvira Salazar informed that the CDC “would come to the table & work with us” on resuming domestic operation.” In a statement released today, Salazar further explained why she is joined by other lawmakers across the country in introducing this legislation.”
“Welcoming over 5 million passengers and $9 billion dollars directly into our economy each year, Miami is the Cruise Capital of the World and it is time to start sailing again,” she affirmed. The effort seeks to ensure that “our ships can return to sea, our longshoremen can return to port, and Americans can start cruising again.” Calling the CDC’s current guidelines “arbitrary,” Elvira Salazar expressed that the legislation will “give clarity and fairness to the industry that creates hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout Miami’s entire tourism economy.”
Echoing in her remarks, Mast also released a statement, arguing that “in contrast to authoritarian lockdowns in states like New York and California, Florida has stayed open for business and tackled the coronavirus crisis at the same time.” However, Mast added that “because of the CDC’s unresponsiveness to efforts to safely restart cruising, thousands of Florida jobs are still being sacrificed.”
The legislation would address that, “establishing clear guidance for restarting cruising as safely as possible.”