Authorizers look to shield shipbuilding programs

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are lining up to save the military’s shipbuilding programs, which promise to be central to budget negotiations when House and Senate authorizers meet to mark up the fiscal 2006 defense authorization bill. With members of both parties concerned about the details of the Pentagon’s plans to slash budgets for ships and other weapon systems, authorizers are expected to make major changes to the Bush administration’s budget request to make room for favored programs.