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Shelby’s final vote brings $20.7B to North Alabama

WASHINGTON – An era came to an end Thursday in the halls of Congress.

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) cast his final vote – in support of the comprehensive appropriations package containing all 12 Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) spending bills.

Shelby, who is retiring after 44 years in Congress, is vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its subcommittee on defense. He joined 67 other senators in a 68-29 vote to pass the omnibus spending bill. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) voted against the bill.

“Americans have to live within their means while Congress burns money we don’t have,” Tuberville said. “I opposed the omnibus because Congress should be responsible enough to spend no more than we can afford, just as Americans do every day.”

Included in the package is more than $20 billion in projects slated for North Alabama.

“Throughout my career, I have done everything in my power to bring success to my home state,” Shelby said. “The funding for Alabama in this package is significant in terms of the impact it will have on communities and the overall state-wide economy for generations to come.

“This package also represents a serious commitment to our national defense, aid for Americans in need as a result of natural disasters, and continuing support for the people of Ukraine as they fight against Russian aggression. While the path to get here was winding at times, I am proud that we have completed our work for the American people.”

The FY23 omnibus package provides a 10 percent increase in defense appropriations, fully funding the level set by the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act, as well as an increase of only 5.5 percent in non-defense funding, which reduces the Biden Administration’s non-defense budget request increase by more than half.

Following passage in the Senate, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the package before Friday’s government funding deadline.

“I have been blessed to represent the great state of Alabama for 36 years in the Senate, and it is my hope that I have left the state better than I found it,” said Shelby, following 36 years in the Senate and eight years in the House. “I look forward to witnessing the results of this funding and the state’s continued growth as a private citizen in just a few short weeks.

“Thank you, Alabama. Serving you has been the honor of my lifetime.”

Projects impacting North Alabama:

  • Army Research – $17 billion for continued investment in transformational technologies to address modern and future Army warfighting needs.
  • Hypersonic weapons – fully funds Army hypersonic research, as well as an additional $60 million to develop a common hypersonic glide body and $50 million towards high energy laser development.
  • $2.6 billion for Space Launch System, of which $600 million is for concurrent Block 1B development, which is managed by Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.
  • $110 million for nuclear thermal propulsion, which benefits Marshall Space Flight Center.
  • $652 million for FBI construction at Redstone Arsenal, which supports ongoing and growing efforts in Huntsville.
  • $44 million military construction project building a Physics Lab at Redstone Arsenal.
  • $52 million military construction project building Consolidated Warehouses.
  • $6 million military construction project updating Building 6231 at Redstone Arsenal.
  • $151 million military construction project for DIA/MSIC’s Advanced Analysis Facility Phase 2.
  • $11 million military construction project for Backup Power Generation.
  • $30 million in funding for Alabama’s Northern Beltline of the Appalachian Development Highway System.
  • $500,000 for the Invasive Species Mitigation Plan to begin the planning, design, initial engineering and project management for construction of carp barriers in the Mississippi River Basin, including the Tennessee River, and the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway.
  • $27 million for the Fish and Wildlife Service to combat Asian Carp and enhance efforts in sub-basins of the Mississippi River, which includes key areas of Alabama in the Tennessee and Cumberland basins.
  • No less than $10.5 million, $3.5 million above FY22 enacted level, for the NOAA VORTEX-SE program, which is located at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

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