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."

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email caleb.taylor@1819News.com.

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