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Richard Shelby expected to be confirmed as Senate Appropriations chairman today

Senator Richard Shelby questions Secretary of Defense Ash Carter during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense hearing on the DoD fiscal year 2017 budget request at The Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington D.C., Apr. 27, 2016. Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

Sources in Washington are telling the Alabama Political Reporter that they expect U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, will be confirmed as chairman of the powerful U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee later today following the Senate Republican Caucus lunch.

The Appropriations Committee had been chaired by Senator Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi, but Cochran retired from the Senate effective April 1, due to health issues.

Sen. Shelby will also be named as chairman to the Defense Subcommittee which will meet later this evening to hear important information on matters relayed to the nations nuclear weapons program, according to APR’s source.

This marks the fourth committee that Alabama’s senior senator has chaired.

Article One Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution states: “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of Appropriation made by law.”

Every spending bill originates in the Senate or House Appropriations Committee, and they all go through both. For any of those bills to get to the floor of the Senate, they have to come out of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee has enormous influence on all of those spending bills and the language that is written into those bills, which are often over 1,000 pages.

The vice-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee is Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.

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Senator Richard Shelby was first elected to the Senate in 1986. Shelby was first elected to Congress, representing the Seventh Congressional District in 1978. Prior to his election to Congress, Shelby served the people of Alabama in the State Senate.

Richard Shelby lives in Tuscaloosa. He is 83.


Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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