U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, said that that he is, “Proud that the Senate is taking another step toward regular order in the appropriations process.
Senator Shelby delivered his remarks on the floor of the Senate during the consideration of HR6147. This bill packages four Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations measures, including Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Financial Services and General Government; Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies; and Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. All four of the bills were passed by the full committee with unanimous support.
“I am proud that the Senate is taking another step toward regular order in the appropriations process,” said Senator Shelby. “It is evident that appropriators on both sides of the aisle have embraced a willingness to sacrifice partisan riders for the good of the process. I encourage my colleagues to sustain the momentum we have generated and support this bill.”
“We have not debated an Interior appropriations bill on the floor of the United States Senate in nearly a decade,” Sen. Shelby said. “The Financial Services appropriations bill has not seen floor action in several years either.”
Shelby said that this was, “Because year after year party-line votes in committee represented the end of the line in the legislative process. Yet here we are today, debating both of these appropriations bills and more on the Senate floor.” “What changed was the mindset of appropriators on both sides of the aisle who embraced a willingness to sacrifice partisan riders and priorities outside the committee’s jurisdiction for the good of the process.”
Last month the Senate passed HR5895, a minibus including three FY2019 appropriations bills, which passed the Senate with the overwhelming support of 86-5. All 12 of the Senate’s FY2019 appropriations measures were passed out of the committee by wide bipartisan margins and were approved by a cumulative committee vote of 363 to 9.
“By completing our work in a deliberate and timely manner on this package, we can turn next to the Defense and Labor-HHS-Education package,” Shelby explained. “While completion of our work on the current package would mean that we have passed more than half of the 2019 appropriations bills, the lion’s share of discretionary spending is contained in the Defense and Labor-HHS bills. Very important to all of us here – very important to our constituents and very important to our country.”
Shelby said, “I encourage our colleagues to participate in this process and help sustain the momentum we’ve generated. We have a lot of work to do, but we are making real progress.”
Shelby said that he has found the bipartisan cooperation on appropriation, “encouraging.”
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and its Subcommittee on Defense. Shelby was chosen for the post after Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi, left the Senate and his chairmanship of the committee due to deteriorating health.
Shelby has served the people of Alabama in the U.S. Senate since his election in 1986. Prior to that he represented the people of House District Seven in the Congress and the people of Tuscaloosa in the state Senate.