Sending Office: Honorable Jackie Speier
Become an Original Cosponsor of the CRUISE Integrity Act
DEADLINE: 9:30 am Thursday, April 24th
In response to calls from the President and others to provide federal assistance for cruise lines, we invite you to cosponsor the Cruise Reform and Uniform Industry Standards Evoke (CRUISE) Integrity Act to ensure that strong tax, labor, environmental, and
medical reforms accompany any aid to an industry rife with negligence and intentional oversights.
For decades, cruise companies have deliberately dodged U.S. taxes by incorporating abroad and registering vessels under foreign flags. Operating foreign-flagged vessels also allows cruise lines to circumvent U.S. labor, safety, and environmental regulations.
While low tax rates and labor costs have allowed cruise companies to net sizable profits, the industry has spent billions on share repurchasing to line the pockets of executives instead of adequately investing in environmental stewardship, medical capacity,
or better wages for their workers. In fact, several cruise companies have been caught illegally dumping oil-contaminated pollution into the ocean, even while on probation for environmental violations.
Given this industry’s long history of disregard for U.S. laws, passenger health and wellbeing, and the environment, we are introducing legislation to ensure that cruise lines cannot access federal aid unless they comply with significant reforms. Specifically,
we call for the following:
- Limit federal assistance to cruise lines that are incorporated in the U.S., have a majority of vessels registered in the U.S., and offer full refunds for cancellations related to COVID-19.
- Prohibit companies from using stimulus funds for stock buybacks, executive pay increases, and dividend payments and other capital investments until one year after the date the loans are repaid in full.
- Prevent the reduction of the principal amount of a covered loan through loan forgiveness.
- Require cruise lines to certify that they are in compliance with expanded medical capacity standards.
- Require cruise lines to develop and submit plans to drastically reduce emissions of carbon, methane, nitrogen oxides, and Black Carbon, including by reducing the use of heavy fuel oil and Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems.
- Require cruise lines to certify that they are in compliance with existing and expanded environmental laws, including dumping laws and a sampling, monitoring, and reporting program.
- Increase penalties for illegally dumping untreated waste in open water and prohibit any dumping of treated or untreated waste in Alaska, the U.S. Arctic, and other sensitive water bodies.
Companies that want to benefit from American assistance have a responsibility to incorporate in America and comply with American laws. Without strong protections for passengers, workers, and the environment, federal assistance will only empower the cruise
industry to continue harmful and unethical behaviors. If you have questions or would like to cosponsor the bill, please reach out to Alexandria.Musser@mail.house.gov with Rep. Speier or
Emily.Richardson@mail.house.gov with Rep. Matsui.
Jackie Speier Doris Matsui
Member of Congress Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0