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Shelby confirmed as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee

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

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, on Tuesday was voted by his Republican colleagues to serve as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations for the remainder of the 115th Congress. Senator Shelby previously served as vice chairman of the committee for the 113th Congress.

“My colleagues have placed their trust in me to lead the Senate Appropriations Committee, and I am honored to serve our nation in this new capacity,” said Sen. Shelby. “This is a remarkable opportunity. I look forward to working with Vice Chairman Leahy and the entire committee as we continue the practice of writing and approving bills that responsibly allocate funding for the activities and duties of the federal government.”

Senator Shelby continued, “It is a privilege to continue serving the people of the great state of Alabama and the entire nation in this new position of leadership.”

Shelby will also assume the chairmanship of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. Defense and defense contracting is huge in Alabama.

“I am proud to take on a larger role, helping to secure funding to strengthen our military,” Sen. Shelby said. “With heightened global instability, as well as diverse and complex threats currently facing the United States, national security is of the utmost importance.”

It is the responsibility of the Senate Appropriations Committee to write funding bills and oversee the implementation of the legislation by the executive branch. The Subcommittee on Defense specifically focuses on national security priorities, providing the necessary funding to support our military and other defense operations.

Congressman Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, congratulated Shelby on the new chairmanship.

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“Congratulations to Senator Shelby on being selected as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee,” Byrne said. “Over the years, Senator Shelby has been a steadfast champion for Alabama’s priorities, and I have no doubt his efforts will continue in this prestigious position.”

This is the fourth committee that Shelby has chaired. Prior to becoming the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Shelby served as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, the Senate Banking Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Shelby replaces Senator Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi, who retired on April 1, due to declining health.

Shelby was elected to the Senate in 1986, defeating incumbent Jeremiah Denton (R). Prior to that, Shelby represented the Seventh Congressional District in the House, first winning election in 1978. Shelby served in the State Senate from 1971 to 1978.

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

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