It is his swan song, and outgoing U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) made the most of it.
According to an analysis from CQ Roll Call, Shelby, the ranking Republican member on the Senate Appropriations Committee, secured "more than $548 million" for Alabama in the $1.5 trillion fiscal 2022 omnibus bill signed by President Joe Biden earlier this week.
That total put him at the top of the list of appropriators in the U.S. Senate.
Shelby's balance was $214 million more than second-place U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who nailed down $334 million in "solo requests" for South Carolina.
Following Graham were Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) at $265 million, Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) at $225 million and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who was the top-ranked Democrat and also serves as the Senate Appropriations Committee chairman.
Roll Call described Shelby's effort as "legacy building," noting that his total appropriations accounted for 6% of total earmarks in the omnibus.
Among the highlights in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development portion included $200 million for the Port of Mobile and $100 million for Mobile Downtown Airport.
The Roll Call analysis also noted that U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), a candidate to replace Shelby in the U.S. Senate, did not request earmarks.
"As is so often the case, our bipartisan, debt-junkie 'leaders' require Congress to approve spending bills that are full of pet projects, pork barrel earmarks, and bloated government programs days before a funding deadline," Brooks said to Roll Call.
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