A bipartisan group of 38 Senators have written to Senators Judd Gregg and Ernest Hollings, chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary, requesting $100 million for the Title XI maritime loan guarantee program in Fiscal Year 2002.
The Senators noted that "far from an unnecessary corporate subsidy, but rather a stabilizing force to the defense industrial base as it has grappled with major defense reductions over the past decade. Beyond its importance to the shipbuilding industry, Title XI has generated roughly $150 million in revenue from fees charged to Title XI applicants since 1993."
"It is incomprehensible that anyone could define a program as a subsidy when the program generates more direct revenues to the U.S. Treasury than it expends," added Cynthia Brown, president of the American Shipbuilding Association
. "For the past nine years … the U.S. Navy has procured only six ships per year on average … Commercial work, generated through Title XI Loan Guarantees
, has been instrumental in sustaining the Nation's defense shipbuilding industrial base."
Signatories to the letter, sponsored by Majority Leader Trent Lott, include: 10 members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, including one half (five) of Chairman Gregg's subcommittee; the Chairman and Ranking Member of the authorizing subcommittee, the Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; and, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.