Shelby, Sessions differ on earmarks
U.S. Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions are not on different sides of many issues, but they voted differently on whether they should ban federal earmarks for two years.
During a meeting of Senate Republicans, Shelby expectedly voted against the measure.
Sessions was a co-sponsor of the measure that Republican senators approved on Tuesday that they believe is necessary to reduce the much-criticized government spending, according to the Associated Press.
Shelby, the senior senator from Tuscaloosa, said the ban would not save taxpayer money and would give the Obama administration more spending authority.
Shelby is well-known for directing hundreds of millions in federal money to projects in Alabama through earmarks.
"He is proud of funding he's brought back to Alabama for math, science, and engineering education, as well as for meritorious projects that will improve law enforcement and crime prevention, promote national security, and continue our nation's space exploration activities," Shelby spokesman Jonathan Graffeo wrote in an e-mail to the Associated Press.
Sessions told The Birmingham News that earmarks are a way for senators to pull together votes for measures they are pushing.
"You want this for your state? We'll put it in there, but you have to vote for the bill, and it might be a budget-busting bill," he said.
-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen