$55 million payment to Beth Steel approved

November 20, 1991|By Penny Bender | Penny Bender,States News Service

WASHINGTON -- To pay a 2-year-old debt, a House-Senate budget committee has approved $55 million for Baltimore's Bethlehem Steel as part of a final agreement reached this week on defense spending.

The appropriation, announced yesterday, is owed to the steel company by the U.S. Navy for work done on two surveillance ships.

Maryland Democratic Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes pushed the House-Senate Defense Appropriations Conference to include the money, which they say the Navy has refused to pay to Bethlehem Steel. Mikulski announced the committee's decision after its agreement was finalized.

Bethlehem Steel and the Navy have haggled over the money since 1988, after the company constructed two Navy T-AGS surveillance ships and submitted its final bill.

The shipyard says it followed the Navy's instructions and performed several costly specification changes, which pushed the final cost over the fixed agreement, according to a Mikulski aide.

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