Kill shot to tourism: Sen. Patty Murray blocks bill that would help Alaska’s cruise economy

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A bill championed by Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio of Florida to restart the cruise industry in a safe manner was blocked by Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state on Wednesday.

The Careful Resumption Under Improved Safety Enhancements (CRUISE) Act made it to the Senate floor, but Murray objected, and that kept the bill from passing.

“While I am as eager as anyone else to see a return to travel, we cannot cut corners. Doing so risks lives and will only further delay returning to normal, hurting our economy more in the long run,” Murray said.

“We must trust the science and we must allow the CDC to continue its work to help us return to what we love as safely as possible. So I will continue to work with CDC and the administration as they develop the next phase of their cruising guidance, but for now, I object,” Murray said.

Sullivan argued that at the beginning of the pandemic, little was known about the virus, but over a year later, that has changed, and there are now vaccines.

“You know, Sen. [Lisa] Murkowski and I had a meeting, our second meeting with the CDC Director, just three weeks ago. In that meeting, she told us that they were going to issue all of the guidance for the cruise ships, issue it all so people can plan. They said that they could anticipate with this guidance that we could meet cruising opportunities to start by mid-July in Alaska. They said that, with this guidance, the CDC wouldn’t have to be approving every move, every move going forward. And they said they would take into consideration this huge progress we have made on vaccinating Americans. In my state, in southeast Alaska, there’s communities with 60%, 70%, 80% vaccination rates. That’s where these cruise ships are going to be going,” Sullivan said.

The unfortunate thing, Sullivan said, is not one thing the director of the CDC told him turned out to be true. 

“That’s not good. Her staff or somebody in the CDC needs to be held responsible for telling us something that was not true at all,” Sullivan said.

The CRUISE Act would revoke the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Conditional Sailing Order” on cruises and require the CDC to provide guidance to cruise lines that would allow them to resume operations. The bill further:

  • Establishes an interagency “Working Group” that will develop recommendations to facilitate the resumption of passenger cruise ship operations in the United States. The recommendations will facilitate the resumption of passenger cruise ship operations in the U.S. no later than July 4, 2021.
  • Requires the CDC, no later than July 4, 2021, to revoke the order entitled “Framework for Conditional Sailing and Initial Phase Covid-19 Testing Requirements for Protection of Crew.”
  • Ensures that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the CDC retain all appropriate authorities to make and enforce regulations necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases on any individual cruise ship.

Congressman Don Young has similar legislation in the House of Representatives.

30 COMMENTS

  1. Sullivan: “…not one thing the director of the CDC told him turned out to be true.” Yet, we continue to adhere to the CDC guidelines as if they are adjudicated law. It only takes a few to stand up and say, “No more listening and adhering to habitual liars.” Then a few more will join in. But someone has to be first or second. Will it be you?

  2. The little old grandma in tennis shoes from WA state hates Republicans. That’s all.
    .
    Seattle’s summer economy booms when cruise ships pull in and out of port. Murray is brain dead. Plain and simple.

  3. “ We must trust the science” I think you meant to say “ We must trust the scientists we agree with!” Not the science itself.

  4. Off Shore Cruising would be a great hit in Alaska…They are doing it right now in other countries as they have already restarted cruising in areas that are a level 4 for covid, when we are so low we don’t even register, and have safely sailed for fishing for over a year.

    How fun would it be to be part of the restart, we could ferry people back and forth to an Anchored cruise ship until they figure it out.

    Or they could sail back and forth between Anchorage and Glacier Bay some of the best views in the world.

  5. Patty, you and the bloviated CDC must move further down the liberal trail to California, Murkowski attached.
    Let’s review the Cruise Act to proceed, not digress. The politicians who have clarity in this must matter stand and act.

  6. I certainly wouldn’t give up on working with Patty Murray on coming up with a solution.

    I have never understood why Alaska representatives do not work closer with the representatives in the West Coast States. It seems that Alaska representative work together with deep south States, many of them have very little influence.

    They may be of different parties but you have to work across the aisle to get anything done.

    Considering Alaska dependence on Washington State you would think it would be constructive to be good friends with those folks.

    Just because you do not agree with the leaders politically does not mean that you can not work with them to help Alaska.

    Aligning Alaska with Texas, Oklahoma, or other deep south states hasn’t helped much.

  7. The representatives from Washington state continually disrupt our economy and the operations within the State of Alaska with their meddling and obstruction. Maybe it is time to start taxing the Seattle fisherman that get rich off our natural resources?

  8. @harborguy The Left Coast senators and reps are, I suspect like you, communists who have nothing in common with Alaskans other than the lefty elitists of downtown Anchorage and Juneau and a few blocks around the university campi around the state. Murray tried to ban Alaska trade tankers from Puget Sound a few years back. Why would we want to work with somebody who tried to destroy the Alaska economy. That said, I live for the day when nothing going to or from Alaska has to see Washington.

  9. HARBORGUY, I believe that your intentions are noble, but the goals of the people in the Seattle-Tacoma corridor (which determines all politics in WA) vastly differ from those of largely rural Alaska (and rural WA). We depend upon tourism and resource development for our livelihood whereas the city people believe that power comes from the outlet generated by fairy dust in the walls. We treasure our freedoms whereas their biggest joy is not stepping on poop on the sidewalk. Our perspectives have little in common and therefore our legislators work with like minded legislators. Aesop’s Fables can somewhat give an idea of the difference in nature:
    A scorpion wants to cross a river but cannot swim, so it asks a frog to carry it across. The frog hesitates, afraid that the scorpion might sting, but the scorpion argues that if it did that, they would both drown. The frog considers this argument sensible and agrees to transport the scorpion. The frog lets the scorpion climb on its back and then begins to swim. Midway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog anyway, dooming them both. The dying frog asks the scorpion why it stung despite knowing the consequence, to which the scorpion replies: “I couldn’t help it. It’s in my nature.”

  10. Air this across Southeast Alaska the Senator who doesn’t care anything about Southeast local and art businesses, its easy for Sen. Murray think how she thinks what she says keeping Southeast Alaska safer, She isn’t the one who will be trading her four wall home for a Tent! Under the protection of these Democrats you be protected from covid, but you be living inside a tent or government built tiny house! hahahaha

  11. Robert, higher taxes on fisher people should have been levied a long time ago. The problem is ALL fishermen in including alaska fishermen would pay the taxes.

  12. Murray stole her senate seat, just like Al Franken did. The democrats stuffed the ballot box when they discovered they were behind. Nothing has changed since then. They’re still stuffing the ballot box, but now they are doing it in plain sight.

  13. Science, its just floating in the air and water.
    Just dip a clear glass into the water, look at the color, nope not there yet.
    Noting to see here on the science, go back to your bunkers. Lock the doors and shut the drapes. Don’t come out until, WE TELL YOU IT OK
    Stop the madness

  14. Looks like we’re hard aground on the swamp – when is the high tide going to come in? Draining the swamp is proving more difficult than imagined, but we can’t wait for a storm tide that may never come.

  15. We can’t continue to rely on Democrats and other idiots in the lower 48 to bail us out. We must look after our own money and stop spending on bs projects until oil comes back.

    Murray is going to try and punish Alaska. Hopefully at least Dan will stand up for us!

  16. Just have the cruises start in Anchorage and end in Juneau, and vice-versa. Why do we even have to have cruise ships go down to WA in the first place?

  17. Remember when Seattle “selected” the “Alaska Commissioner? I didn’t think so. What the heck is an Alaska Commissioner? It’s a cure for demurring to Seattle. T’anks anyway. I have so much history in Alaska I am no longer relevant or allowed to comment.

  18. I can’t believe that idiot, Patti Murray, is still there! That just shows how stupid people in Seattle are. (I say Seattle, because I realize that the largest voting population is centered there.) I love the Pacific Northwest, I grew up there, leftists have destroyed it. And Seattle has long taken advantage of Alaska’s rich resources. (Gold mining, fishing…) And now they have a say in whether or not we can have tour ships? That’s weird. What’s really weird is that I can’t believe I’m defending the right to have tour ships in Alaska, because I always hated them when I lived In Juneau. It’s time to end this covid freak out over nothing worse than the flu, and move on to life as usual. And tell that “mom in tennis shoes” to keep out of Alaska’s business.

  19. Since WA has gone crazy left they basically hate Alaskans. This lady is no different. They also hate their own citizens- which is the hallmark of the left; a citizenry in misery.

  20. Art Chance.

    One thing you can count on, Alaska trade will always go through Washington State regardless how long you live. If there was another way it would have been done by now.

    Interesting that you mention communist as Alaska does business with largest communist country on the planet and not much is said about that.

  21. Cruise ships and other tourist industry enterprises are not the issue, the revolution issue is the only issue for Democrats. Crushing industry is essential to replace our free-enterprise economy. Too much just makes no sense. “The things we love,” balderdash! It’s becoming more and more clear that all the kind words they say about any given issue are just a distraction.

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