Richard Shelby has been very good at bringing federal dollars to Alabama during his time in the U.S. Senate. He has been responsible for the steady flow of federal earmarks that have benefited Alabama institutions to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year. But these dollars will dry up under a two-year ban adopted on November 16th by Senate Republicans. Senator Shelby opposed the moratorium, saying it would permanently end the state’s ability to finance major road, construction, research and infrastructure projects with extra federal dollars. As expected, Senator Jeff Sessions likes the ban and supported it. I agree with Senator Shelby who has directed thousands of earmarks back to the state during his 24 years in the Senate. I believe Alabama will suffer greatly if the ban stays in place.
Some of the folks who “cuss” earmarks may not even know what they are. As I understand it, earmarks refer to line items inserted into the federal budget by individual lawmakers to direct money to special projects in their states. Senator Shelby has been very good to our state as a result. Alabama always has ranked high in earmark dollars per capita. Typically, the earmarks have financed water and sewer projects, new roads and bridges, historic building renovations, museums, university research, private defense contractors doing work for the military, and upgrades of equipment for local law enforcement.
Source: Birmingham News