By Brandon Moseley

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) released a statement commending Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) after the Senior Senator from Vermont announced that he will not run for reelection in 2022.

Shelby is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. He was Chairman until earlier this year; when the Republicans lost control of the Senate. Leahy was then Vice-Chair as the senior Senator for the minority.

“Over the past 47 years, Chairman Leahy has had a remarkable career in the Senate,” Shelby said. “As chairman of the Appropriations, Judiciary, and Agriculture committees and president pro tempore of the Senate, Pat has served Vermont well and with honor. His devotion to our nation and his state merits praise. I thank Pat for his friendship and wish him and his wife, Marcelle, all the best.”

Sen. Leahy made the announcement in a speech at the Vermont State House.

“Thank you all for being here this morning,” Leahy said. “This room is special to both Marcelle and me, and not just because as a kid, I used to ride my tricycle down these halls. Having grown up right across the street, Marcelle and I gathered here with our parents, our children Kevin, Alicia and Mark, and my sister Mary and announced my candidacy for the United States Senate. At the time, I was a 33-year-old, four-term Chittenden County state’s attorney, launching a campaign knowing that Vermont had never sent a Democrat to the United States Senate."

Leahy has been Vermont's longest-serving Senator.

"I know I have been there for my state when I was needed most," said Leahy. "I know I have taken our best ideas and helped them grow. I brought Vermont’s voice to the United States Senate and Vermont values across the world."

Leahy is 82 and has served in the Senate since his election in 1974, serving eight terms.

Richard Shelby is 87 and has served six terms in the U.S. Senate, four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, and two terms in the Alabama Senate.

Some Americans favor a constitutional amendment setting term limits on members of Congress. Others argue that the citizens have the right to replace their representatives and senators every election if they so choose.

Shelby, like Leahy, will not be running for re-election in 2022.