By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
Sen. Richard Shelby, Alabama’s senior senator and the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, celebrated his 10,000th vote Wednesday.
That’s a significant milestone, no doubt. But it came amid some really meaningful, substantial accomplishments.
Shelby and his colleagues moved to pass a four-bill minibus appropriations package funding Interior, Treasury, Agriculture, Transportation, EPA & HUD. A few weeks ago they passed an appropriations package funding Energy and Water Development, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and the Legislative Branch.
That means the Senate has now cleared seven of the 12 appropriations titles before the end of August, something that hasn’t happened in almost 20 years.
In a rare Senate moment, Shelby’s colleagues came to the floor to recognize him. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said:
“As he took the reins of the Appropriations Committee, he made it clear that, working with Senator Leahy, regular order would be the name of the game. He set his sights on restoring the kind of collaborative process that has historically made our institution so unique. As we all know, that’s a little bit easier said than actually done. And yet, the committee completed a markup process that reported out all twelve spending bills faster than it had in any year since 1988 – that’s three decades ago.”
The whole thing, including remarks from Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Appropriations Ranking Member Pat Leahy, really is worth a watch here:
“I am humbled to hear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, and Vice Chairman Leahy speak about my achievements in the Senate this year,” Shelby said. “We have worked hard to move funding bills through regular order to restore the Senate’s appropriations process, as well as the faith of the American people. I am grateful to have been given this opportunity. Our progress so far is encouraging, and I hope we can continue on this path.
“Further, I am honored to have cast my 10,000th vote in the Senate this year. Thank you to the great people of my home state of Alabama who have voted to keep me in office for over 30 years, and to my colleagues and staff who have supported me along the way. This is truly a privilege.”
Later Wednesday, Shelby celebrated the confirmation of two federal district judges for Alabama: Emily Marks of Montgomery for the Middle District and Jeffrey Beaverstock of Mobile for the Southern District. Both Marks and Beaverstock were nominated by President Trump in September 2017.
“The confirmation of Emily Marks and Jeff Beaverstock is a critical step in ensuring that our courts are shaped by judges who will fairly interpret the law,” Shelby said.
“These two highly-qualified nominees with conservative values are excellent choices by President Trump. Both Marks and Beaverstock are devoted to upholding our Constitution as it is written. I congratulate them and am confident that our nation will benefit from their honorable service.”
Senators play a key role in the nominations and confirmations of federal judges in their states.