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Political reality may set in for Katie Britt in the U.S. Senate starting today

Katie Britt
Butch Dill/AP
FR111446 AP
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt talks to supporters during her watch party, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Montgomery, Ala. (Photo/Butch Dill)

Today’s the day Republican Katie Britt is sworn in as Alabama’s junior U.S. Senator. She’s replacing Richard Shelby who sat as the vice chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee which helped shape the federal budget. It’s unlikely that Britt will get as high profile a position as that during her first term. That’s the view of Professor Sam Workman. He teaches public policy at West Virginia University. He says Britt will probably get committee assignments for work for Alabama…

“You know, the leadership will weigh all sorts of things,” said Workman. “So, they’re going to want to put her on committees that are important to Alabama. That’s one thing I’ll tell you. They’re not going to have someone from Iowa overseeing forest policies.”

APR spoke with Workman because his state faced the loss of Democrat Robert Byrd. He led the same appropriations committee where Shelby sat. Workman noted how things changed and how they stayed the same for West Virginia after Byrd died in 2010. Britt will be Alabama’s junior Senator behind Tommy Tuberville. But Workman says Britt’s experience in Shelby’s office may tip the scales…

“She might have as much experience of sort of navigating things as Tuberville does. It’s difficult to see what committees that she’ll get. But, she’ll get things that are important for Alabama.”

Tommy Tuberville currently sits on committees that deal with the military and veterans affair, as well as agriculture, forestry, and health.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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