In an overwhelming show of support for the Maritime Security Program, the House of Representatives voted on October 9th to authorize an increase in funding levels for MSP beginning in Fiscal Year 2017.  The 306 – 109 vote came in response to an amendment offered by Congressman Justin Amash to strip the MSP funding provisions from legislation that would further strengthen America’s security by allowing the export of crude oil.  Members of the House from both parties, led by Republicans Duncan Hunter (CA), Randy Forbes (VA) and Joe Barton (TX) and Democrats Steny Hoyer (MD), Gene Green (TX) and Frank Pallone (NJ) argued that the Maritime Security Program is a critical component of America’s commercial sealift capability, providing the Department of Defense with the U.S.-flag shipping capacity, worldwide logistics network and American mariners needed to protect the security interests of the United States and its allies, and to support American troops stationed overseas.  These Representatives along with a number of their colleagues made clear that the Maritime Security Program provides these national security benefits to the United States in a cost effective, efficient manner that could only be replicated at a cost of billions of dollars of taxpayer money if the Federal government chose to do this job itself rather than through the public-private partnership it has with the private U.S.-flag shipping industry through the Maritime Security Program.