Florida’s cruise industry is marooned, and the state’s two Republican Senators are trying to get the sector going again.
U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott teamed up Tuesday with Alaska Republican Dan Sullivan on the Careful Resumption Under Improved Safety Enhancements (CRUISE) Act.
This bill would revoke the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s no-sail order imposed during the Donald Trump era no later than July 4 and require mitigation guidance.
With Republican newcomer María Elvira Salazar carrying the bill in the House of Representatives, it may be a heavy lift in Democratic Washington. But the Senators made staunch cases to get the cruise ships back into Sunshine State ports.
“Florida is a tourism state with thousands of jobs relying on the success of our ports, cruise lines and maritime industries. While many sectors of the economy have been safely operating for months under CDC guidelines, Floridians, and those across the nation that rely on the cruise industry for work, continue to wait for updated guidance from the CDC. The CDC’s refusal to properly address this shutdown is wrong and it’s time to get the cruise lines open safely. Our bill, the CRUISE Act, says we’re not waiting on the CDC any longer. Cruises can and should resume, and we’re going to do everything we can to bring back our cruise industry safely,” Scott said.
“The benefits of cruise operations are integral to the economies of Florida’s port cities. Floridians and many other Americans who are employed by ports, cruise operators, or work in hospitality jobs near cruise terminals face an uncertain future because of the CDC’s unresponsiveness to requests for guidance by stakeholder groups,” Rubio added.
As Florida’s Republican delegation continues to try to get the industry going again, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are applying pressure as well, with a lawsuit directed toward multiple federal agencies.
The suit was filed Thursday against the Biden administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the CDC, demanding that the court find the no-sail order unlawful.