Representative Michelle Steel (CA-48) led members of the California congressional delegation in a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the White House COVID Coordinator this week urging them to stand by their recently released guidance that cruises will be able to resume by mid-summer. California is among the nation’s largest cruise markets, second only to the state of Florida. Since cruises were suspended in March of 2020, California has lost $1.86 billion in direct spending and more than 40,000 jobs related to the cruise industry. As home to 3 major cruise line ports (Long Beach, Los Angeles, and San Diego) the Southern California economy has been especially impacted by the industry’s closures.
In the letter, the lawmakers wrote:
“The financial impact is felt across our districts, affecting our constituents who are hotel, restaurant, retail workers, longshoremen, transportation operators, and other small- and medium-sized business owners who continue to suffer from the ongoing cruise industry shutdown.”
“We are encouraged that the Administration, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have expressed that a resumption of U.S. cruise operations is feasible by July, and we are hopeful that the current pace of discussions will continue given the progress and advances that the industry has made as it relates to enhanced health and safety measures.”
Rep. Steel was joined in the letter by Reps. Darrell Issa (CA-50) and Ken Calvert (CA-42). Read the full text of the letter here.