Richard C Shelby

Imitation Bernie, peeking on camera and too many Alaskans of the Week: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of Nov. 4, 2019

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., leaves the Senate Republicans’ lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

December stopgap funding seems likely path forward for long-delayed appropriations
Another three- to four-week extension is expected as lawmakers hash out differences

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., left, said he had a “positive discussion” with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., about the path forward for stalled spending bills. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional leaders and the White House agree they’ll need another three or four weeks to wrap up negotiations on 12 annual spending bills, and are likely to extend stopgap funding to Dec. 13 or Dec. 20, a decision that may finally propel the fiscal 2020 appropriations process forward.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby said he had a “positive discussion” with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland on Thursday. Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer said in floor remarks that “we’re seeing some positive signs that we can get the process back on track.”

Watch: Shelby endorses Sessions for return to Senate
“I believe he will be a formidable candidate,” Shelby said

Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby get off the Senate subway in 2014. Shelby endorsed Sessions for a potential 2020 Senate bid on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Sen. Richard C. Shelby endorsed his former Alabama Senate colleague for an expected 2020 Senate bid. “I believe he will be a formidable candidate,” Shelby said Thursday.

About a year ago, Jeff Sessions was forced out of his role as attorney general by President Donald Trump. Prior to that, Sessions served in the Senate for about two decades. He was first elected in 1996.

Popeyes chicken is riding on the outcome of the LSU-Alabama game
Sens. John Kennedy and Richard Shelby are betting chicken and sausage

Sens. Richard C. Shelby and John Kennedy have a bet on the LSU-Alabama game (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call).

Jeff Sessions’ return could be rocky, thanks to Trump
President is a major factor in GOP primaries, which could be a problem

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to run for his old Senate seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions’ decision to return to politics might be rockier than he anticipated, given his clashes with President Donald Trump. 

Loyalty to the president is a central factor in GOP primaries and, as Trump’s attorney general, Sessions drew the president’s ire for recusing himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Jeff Sessions to run for Senate in Alabama again
Former attorney general’s tangles with Trump could be a liability in campaign

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions left the Senate to become attorney general but tangled with President Donald Trump, which could be a liability. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to run for his old Senate seat in Alabama, a source familiar with his plans said.

He has yet to file with the state Republican Party, according to a party spokeswoman. The deadline is Friday. 

White House backing off $8.6 billion demand for border wall funding
The most immediate decision to make is how long a second temporary funding bill should last

A section of the border wall stretches through the “Rio Grande Valley Sector” of the Texas border in August. The Trump administration is backing off its demand for spending on the fiscal 2020 border wall. (Jinitzail Hernández/CQ Roll Call)

The Trump administration is backing off its demand for $8.6 billion in fiscal 2020 border wall spending in negotiations with top congressional leaders and appropriators, according to a source familiar with the talks.

That’s not just a recognition of reality — Congress hasn’t appropriated more than $1.375 billion for the wall in each of the past two fiscal years. It also reflects a realization that the administration risks losing a substantial boost in military spending and other GOP priorities if current stopgap funds end up extended for the entire fiscal year.

Appropriations talks rejuvenated as possible shutdown looms
Meetings are a sign policymakers are seeking common ground and ways to avoid another government shutdown

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) talks with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) at the Capitol on October 24, 2019. Schumer said Wednesday the White House, Senate and House met to hopefully kick-start spending talks. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)

Top aides to House and Senate appropriators, leadership from both parties and White House officials met Tuesday to try to kick-start spending talks, a sign that policymakers are seeking common ground and ways to avoid another government shutdown despite impeachment politics.

Dozens of policy disputes and thus-far intractable differences on subcommittee allocations between the chambers have held up progress. The House spending bills, written before the bipartisan budget deal in July that set final fiscal 2020 spending caps, are nearly $20 billion above the Senate’s for nondefense programs, for instance.

Impeachment on collision course with possible shutdown
Schumer already suggesting Trump may “want to shut down the government”

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer says he’s worried President Donald Trump “may want to shut down the government again because of impeachment.” (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Congress could navigate a shutdown and a presidential impeachment inquiry if lawmakers and the Trump administration can’t reach an agreement on government funding during the next three weeks.

The two events haven’t overlapped before in the nation’s history. If that happens next month, however, roughly 2 million federal workers would get hit in their wallets as the holiday season begins, including staffers working on the impeachment proceedings.

Shelby: Next stopgap could last until February or March
Appropriations chairman says spending bills unlikely to become law before Thanksgiving break

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., departs from the Senate lunch in the Capitol on Wednesday, Oct. 16. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby said the next continuing resolution to fund government agencies beyond the current stopgap’s Nov. 21 expiration might have to run beyond the end of this calendar year — perhaps into early spring.

“Unless a miracle happens around here with the House and the Senate, we will have to come forth with another CR,” said Shelby, R-Ala., noting that next February or March is “probably in the ballpark.”