Roby gets seat on influential Appropriations Committee
Republican Rep. Martha Roby was named to the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, continuing Alabama’s long history of having multiple members on the influential panel that decides where federal taxpayer money is spent.
“Members of the Appropriations Committee have tough jobs to do and have a great responsibility to properly fund the federal government and support the well-being of the nation,” said Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., the committee’s chairman.
Roby and two other GOP lawmakers who received seats on the committee are replacing two members who resigned — including Rep. Jo Bonner of Mobile — and one who died. Rep. Mark Amodei of Nevada and Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah are the other two new members.
Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, is the other Alabama lawmaker on the committee. He chairs the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies.
On the Senate side, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, is vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Other recent appropriators from Alabama include former Rep. Bud Cramer of Huntsville, former Rep. Sonny Callahan of Mobile, former Rep. Jack Edwards of Mobile and former Rep. Tom Bevill of Jasper.
Alabama’s history on the House and Senate committees has given the state a prominent role in writing legislation that allocates taxpayer dollars across nearly every aspect of the federal government. For years, the job let appropriators send money for special projects, or earmarks, to their home states or districts. Earmarking was banned in 2010, but the House and Senate Appropriations panels still wield considerable influence over which federal agencies see spending cuts and which see increases.
Under House rules, Roby must give up her seats on the Armed Services Committee, the Education and the Workforce Committee and the Agriculture Committee in order to take the seat on the Appropriations Committee.
Roby is in her third term representing Alabama’s 2nd District, which covers the southeastern part of the state and includes Montgomery. The district’s exact boundaries have changed over the decades, but the general area has not been represented by an appropriator in at least 75 years.
“Congress is working in a budget-constrained environment for the foreseeable future, and we must make sure every dollar spent is spent wisely,” Roby said in a prepared statement. “After numerous discussions with senior colleagues in Congress and stakeholders in my state, I’m convinced having a seat on the Appropriations Committee will afford me more — not less — influence on issues that matter to the people of Alabama’s Second District.”