U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) is retiring after this term, but he's not going out without a bang.
According to Bloomberg Government, Shelby has placed $656 million in earmarks in a bill to fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year. If passed, Shelby stands to take home the most earmarked funds for the second year in a row to Alabama, the report said.
If an agreement isn't reached by midnight Friday and a short-term spending bill is passed instead, retiring members such as Shelby could see their earmarked projects dropped from the final omnibus bill negotiated by a new Congress.
"I'll be gone. I'll be cutting the grass and running errands for my wife," Shelby told the outlet. "They'd start all over. I wouldn't get anything."
Shelby's earmarks are to fund 17 projects, including $200 million for the Alabama State Port Authority, $100 million for Department of Transportation work on the Woolsey Finnell Bridge over the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa, and $76 million for the University of Alabama at Birmingham's School of Medicine.
The earmark process was banned in Washington, D.C. for a decade but was brought back last year.
U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) and 18 other Republican Senators last year called earmarks "an inherently wasteful spending practice that is prone to serious abuse."
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