By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Thursday, January 8 U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R from Alabama) was named the Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs for the 114th Congress. Sen. Shelby was elected by the Republican members of the committee on Wednesday and his appointment was confirmed by the Senate Republican Conference on Thursday.
Following the vote, Senator Shelby released a written statement, “It is an honor to lead the Senate Banking Committee in the 114th Congress,” said Senator Shelby. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to implement policies that will foster economic growth.”
Senator Shelby was previously the Chairman of the Banking Committee from 2003 to 2006, until Democratic victories in the 2006 election gave the Democratic Party a majority in the U.S. Senate.
According to the standing rules of the Senate, the very powerful committee has jurisdiction over legislation concerning the following subjects: banks, banking, and financial institutions, deposit insurance, economic stabilization and defense production, export and foreign trade promotion, export controls, federal monetary policy including the Federal Reserve System, financial aid to commerce and industry, issuance and redemption of notes, money and credit including currency and coinage, nursing home construction, public and private housing (including veterans housing), renegotiation of Government contracts, and urban development and urban mass transit.
Sen. Shelby replaces Senator Tim Johnson (D from South Dakota) who chaired the Committee in the previous Congress. According to Senate rules, the political party which has the majority selects members of its party to serve as the Chairmen of each Committee. Seniority plays a very large role the process of selecting Chairmen. The minority party (in this Congress the Democrats) selects a Ranking member for each committee.
Senator Richard Shelby (R) was first elected to the Senate in 1986. Senator Shelby has also served the people of Alabama in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the Alabama legislature. Senator Shelby’s term in the Senate expires in 2016, however if Senator Shelby seeks another term in the Senate any potential Republican or Democratic challenger would likely have tremendous difficulty unseating the popular senior senator from Alabama.