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The Ship Subsidy Bill was a bill tabled during the presidency of Warren G. Harding.[1][2] It proposed to allocate public funds for the creation and maintenance of a U.S. merchant navy, which would be "privately owned and privately operated," but" [would serve] all the people and always [be] available to the Government in any emergency."[1][2]

In its 6 December 1926 issue, the New York Chronicle reported that President Harding had given a speech that day before the U.S. Congress in support of the bill, in which he challenged its opponents to work to defeat it rather than ignore it, as "the failure of Congress to act decisively [would] be no less disastrous than adverse action."[1][2] Harding faced opposition from within his own party, particularly among members from the Midwest, but was committed to seeing the bill passed despite the political risk to himself.[1][2]

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