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PREPARED STATEMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD

JULY 23, 2002

STATEMENT ON THE HONORABLE DUNCAN HUNTER
BEFORE THE SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON THE

MERCHANT MARINE
HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE

JULY 23, 2002

This Hearing will come to order.

My opening remarks will be brief. This is the second in a series of

hearings, which the panel will hold on the reauthorization of the Maritime

Security Program. Last week we heard from witnesses representing the ship

owners, maritime labor, and the so-called “section 2” citizens. If we learned

anything last week, we have a very difficult task ahead of us.

This week we will receive testimony from the shipbuilding

components within this industry. Judging from a review of their testimony,

we will have a replay of last week's hearing. I am particularly interested in

getting the best cost estimates of each of the disparate proposals that will be

presented today.

I also noticed that several of the witnesses today have made comments on

needed changes to the tax laws. I hope to hear more on these topics today.

As many of you know, I have been developing a proposal to address this

issue that has developed in part, from discussions with other members of this

panel. I hope to be in a position to introduce this legislation-ideally, as as

bipartisan effort-after the break. In my opinion, reauthorization and

modification of the current Maritime Security program is only one step in a

series of required changes.

At the end of the day, we will need to develop a program that is affordable

and one that this Administration can get behind and support. As I said last

week, we intend to continue these hearings into the fall—at which time we

will get the views and the requirements of the ultimate users

TRANSCOM. If we cannot design a program that meets and satisfies a

discernable military requirement, we will not be get the support of the

Administration.

Before I recognize the distinguished ranking member of this panel, I

want to ask unanimous consent that a letter dated July 19,2002 from Andy

Abbott, representing the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron

Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers be entered into the record.

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