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AL Sen. Shelby appointed to chairman of the Appropriations Committee

(IMAGE: WPMI) AL Sen. Shelby appointed to chairman of the Appropriations Committee

A major appointment for an Alabama lawmaker in Washington DC.

Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby is on the brink of becoming the new chairman of the appropriations committee a job with great influence over more than $1 trillion in annual spending.

Shelby was confirmed by panel members to lead the committee and is set to be ratified by the full senate soon.

Shelby will replace Mississippi Republican Thad Cochran, who recently retired from the senate due to poor health.

According to Bloomberg, the senator's ascension to the chairmanship may prove beneficial to Austal Ltd., which builds the Navy's littoral combat ships in Mobile, Alabama; Alabama-based Regions Financial Corp., and Airbus SE, which has an airplane assembly plant in the state.

The appropriations Chairman has broad power to steer federal spending and use federal spending bills to attempt to influence or block regulations, including those affecting the financial and aviation sectors.

Shelby said he doesn't know whether he would support a likely White House effort to roll back recent spending increases that have drawn the ire of conservatives, but that "it might be that congress is going to stay where they are."

Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri would take over Shelby's current role as chairman of the low-profile rules committee.

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NBC 15 will be speaking to Sen. Shelby this week. if you have a question you'd like us to ask him, please email it to news@mynbc15.com

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