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Shipping reform is under congressional scrutiny. Senators John Breaux, D-La., and Trent Lott, R-Miss., have misgivings about the current House version of the shipping reform bill. One of their key complaints is that there was little debate of the issues in the House. The pre-holiday recess status of the legislation is tidily summed up in the December 1995 issue of American Shipper ("Shipping reform stalls in Senate," page 16). Stalls can be induced by insufficient air flow over the lifting surfaces, as any pilot knows. Fortunately, Washington, D.C., is a city renowned for its ability to produce strong streams of air. Stall recover might not, therefore, be an impossible task. We should take a look at some of the options being considered and revisit some of the thinking that went into the Shipping Act of 1984.
In simplest terms, there are two options available as Congress reconvenes:
1. A desire to move forward on reforming the Shipping Act of 1984.
2. No desire to reform.
The aforementioned senators seem to be saying that SOME reform is necessary. Indeed, many of those opposed to the House version are likely to agree with them. The argument is over what and how much to reform. Sen. Breaux, for example, is in favor of eliminating …