By Jeff Helms
MONTGOMERY, Ala., April 11 — The Alabama Farmers Federation congratulated U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., on his confirmation Tuesday as chairman of the powerful Senate Committee on Appropriations.
Federation President Jimmy Parnell said Shelby brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the position.
“Senator Shelby is a huge asset to Alabama, and I’m very proud to have him in this position,” Parnell said. “He has fought for farmers, worked to strengthen the state’s economy and improved infrastructure. As Appropriations chairman, he will be in a position to ensure Alabama benefits from the strengthening U.S. economy while keeping a watch on government spending.”
Shelby succeeds U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., as chairman. Cochran retired April 1 citing health issues. Shelby thanked his fellow senators for their vote of confidence.
“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,” he said. “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.
“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,” he added.
Shelby will also serve as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. During his 30 years in the U.S. Senate, Shelby served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, the Senate Banking Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Shelby is the first Alabama senator to chair the Appropriations Committee.