Senate approves Maritime Security Program

Senate approves Maritime Security Program

The Senate has approved a $400 billion defense appropriations bill that includes authorization for a new 10-year Maritime Security Program.

The bill now goes to the White House for President Bush to sign.

The program will begin on Oct. 1, 2005, and comprise a fleet of 60 ships. MSP operators will receive annual subsidies of $2.6 million in fiscal 2006 and 2007, with payments escalating in subsequent years.

- R.G. Edmonson in Washington