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Industry remains divided. House chairman turns his attention to Alaska Wildlife Refuge.
It's now official. A 10-year effort to enact maritime promotional reform legislation has all but been shelved by the leadership of the House Merchant Marine & Fisheries Committee.
The decision to shove maritime subsidy reform in the background followed months of industry division and the administration inaction.
"The industry seems hopelessly divided," the House Merchant Marine & Fisheries Committee's chief counsel, Ed Welch, said in an April 24 address before the Washington, D.C. Propeller Club. "The administration has abdicated a leadership role," he added.
Welch, who has long been a spokesman for House Merchant Marine & Fisheries Committee chairman Walter B. Jones, D-N.C., used the occasion to critize the Transportation Department's attitude over subsidy reform. "You didn't see the Transportation Department say it wouldn't offer a highway program because there wasn't an industry consensus. Why is that a standard for administration action in the maritime field?" he asked.
In any event, industry division and the administration's attitude is not preventing Jones from one last attempt to revive the maritime. The House Merchant Marine Subcommittee will nevertheless hold hearings in early June so that everyone will have "a chance to have their say," Welch said. The committee counsel said chairman Jones knows …