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Support Maritime Security Program Funding in FY’20 THUD Appropriations

Strong efforts are underway to garner tangible support for authorizing the full level of $300,000,000 for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) in the FY 2020 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development appropriations bill.   The following House members are the key leaders who are responsible for actions on these appropriations:

Nita Lowey (D-NY), Chairwoman Committee on Appropriations

Kay Granger (R-TX), Ranking Member Committee on Appropriations United States House of

David Price (D-NC), Chairman Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Committee on Appropriations

Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Ranking Member Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Committee on Appropriations

The Maritime Security Program is a critical component of our military sealift capability and the essential guarantee that trained U.S. citizen mariners will be available in times of crisis or disaster. The program provides a stipend to commercial shipping companies to continue to sail U.S.-flag vessels, at a fraction of the cost it would take the federal government to replicate similar maritime shipping capacity. The benefits of MSP to national security are clear — as evidenced by the fact that 90% of cargo shipped to military and rebuilding efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan were sent aboard dependable MSP vessels with skilled and well-trained U.S. crewmembers.

This capacity is indispensable to both our security and humanitarian efforts, but it is also a key element in promoting good middleclass jobs in the maritime sector. In a world without a U.S. fleet, jobs currently performed by American mariners would be outsourced to countries without labor and safety protections, where mariners work under poor conditions for little pay. Support for MSP helps to ensure that the U.S. mariner pool remains robust, and that our nation will be able to preserve the existence of a domestic maritime industry and the substantial economic benefits it imparts.   Larry Willis

Representatives Courtney and Wittman are involved in theFY’20 MSP process and are putting forth an appropriations letter, which encourages full funding of the program and will provide the necessary support for our military sealift capacity and the U.S. commercial maritime sector.    Sign-ons are due by April 1st, and staff contacts are below. 

Rep. Courtney (D-CT)gabe.sehr@mail.house.gov

Rep. Wittman (R-VA) max.huntley@mail.house.gov 

We encourage you to partner with the Phillips Trust in the efforts to endorse good maritime policy.  Please correspond with your individual representatives who may be on these committees and ask them to support the MSP funding.  As the funding bills move forward it will also be important for the full House to be aware of the important strategic nature of this funding for ensuring both positive foreign relations and national security capability.