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Shelby, Others Secure Alabama Spending

Washington – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby is on the verge of getting five million dollars for his pet project to build a new Army Corps of Engineers field office in Tuscaloosa. The agency has never formally requested the office.

The project is among dozens of Alabama earmarks included in a massive spending bill slated to clear Congress this week. Lawmakers from across the state won spending for local universities, city infrastructure, law enforcement agencies and federal facilities.

Shelby, a Republican, is a senior appropriations committee member. He is particularly well-known for his prowess in routing revenues to his home state.

The corps has acknowledged the Tuscaloosa project isn't a priority next to more urgent needs such as shoring up levees or maintaining dams and other critical infrastructure.

Overall, the "omnibus" spending bill combines appropriations for 14 cabinet agencies totaling more than $500 billion. The House approved its version Tuesday and the Senate took it up Wednesday.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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