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U.S. Senator Richard Shelby leaves something in Alabama’s Xmas stocking

Richard Shelby
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
FILE - Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, talks with reporters at the Capitol on Feb. 13, 2020, in Washington. Native American groups in Alabama and North Carolina are hoping that two outgoing U.S. senators can help them achieve something that's been elusive so far: federal recognition as tribes. Victories in Congress could mean millions in federal funding for both. Shelby is handling a bill for the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians in Alabama. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Alabama’s outgoing senior U.S. Senator Richard Shelby included billions of dollars for the state in that chamber’s omnibus spending package. The veteran Republican, and vice-chair of the appropriations committee which helps shaped the federal budget, is leaving office next month. His departure leaves Tommy Tuberville as Alabama’s senator. His committee assignments include committees on agriculture, the military, and veterans’ affairs among others. Katie Britt will replace Shelby, and there’s speculation that neither will able to funnel federal dollars to Alabama with the same success.

Shelby worked to include items in the Senate funding bill that would benefit Alabama. The list includes such as $1.4 billion for Fort Rucker, $170 million for Javelin missiles built in the state, $2.6 billion for NASA’s Artemis rocket built and managed in Huntsville, and $26 million for construction at Tuscaloosa National Airport.

The Senate passed a massive $1.7 trillion spending bill that finances federal agencies through September and provides another significant round of military and economic aid to Ukraine one day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s dramatic address to a joint meeting of Congress. The bill, which runs for 4,155 pages, includes about $772.5 billion for domestic programs and $858 billion for defense and would finance federal agencies through the fiscal year at the end of September. The bill has to be passed by the U.S. House and signed by President Biden.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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