Shelby Supports Appointed Conferees, Applauds Move to Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby today delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the appointed conferees and the motion to go to conference to finalize H.R. 5895, the minibus appropriations bill, which packages the Fiscal Year 2019 funding measures for Energy and Water Development, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch. 


Chairman Shelby’s remarks, as prepared, are as follows:


“Thank you, Mr. President.  Before we vote, I want to express my support for the appointment of conferees and my belief that this yet another encouraging sign of a return to regular order in the appropriations process. 


“The package of appropriations bills that will be conferenced with the House received overwhelming bipartisan support here in the Senate.


“This broad agreement was facilitated by a concerted effort from both parties to prevent partisan riders from poisoning the well.       


“Thus far, we have been able to translate bipartisan cooperation among members of the Appropriations Committee into success on the Senate floor. 


“I want to recognize and commend the continued efforts of Committee members in this process, especially the Republican and Democratic managers of this package.


“In particular, I want to thank Vice Chairman Leahy for his strong partnership in this effort, and Senator Alexander, who has guided this process and will chair the conference committee.


“We continue to consolidate critical mass for a return to regular order, but we still have a long way to go.  This is yet another step in the right direction.


“Senator Alexander, Vice Chairman Leahy and I will have a strong slate of conferees joining us. 


“On the Republican side, Senators Boozman, Daines, and Lankford. On the Democratic side, Senators Feinstein, Schatz, and Murphy.


“Our objective will be to build upon the momentum we have generated here in the Senate by urging the same type of bipartisan cooperation in conference.


“We will aim to return to the Senate floor – hopefully sooner rather than later – with a conference report that reflects bipartisan agreement and merits the support of our colleagues.


“It is, Mr. President, the right thing to do for the American people. 


“Whatever partisan fights may ensue in the coming weeks, the appropriations process should not suffer those wounds. Thus far, it has been immune from such a fate.


“It is my hope that we can continue on that path. That will be our goal in this conference committee.”