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PREPARED STATEMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD

JULY 16, 2002

STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE DUNCAN HUNTER BEFORE

THE SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON THE MERCHANT MARINE

HEARING ON U.S OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL OF VESSELS

OPERATING IN THE MARITIME SECURITY PROGRAM

JULY 16, 2002

I would first like to welcome the witnesses that are scheduled to

appear before us today. I recognize we have a lot to cover, so my opening

remarks will be brief.

Although we have some time before the current Maritime Security

Program expires, the panel wanted to get started now with the hope that we

can get something enacted well before the current expiration date in 2005. I

understand that getting agreement among all the disparate interests will be

difficult and also understand that paying for a new program will be equally

challenging. What I hope the panel will do is work through each of the

difficult issues—with a goal of getting agreement on a consensus package

that we can all unite behind. It is clear to me at this point that we will not be

able to satisfy each and every desire.

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importantly-receive a commitment to include funding for a new program in

their budget.

I want to thank Mr. Allen, the ranking member for his support and

guidance, and I would now like to recognize the gentlemen from Maine for

any comments he might wish to make.

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