USA Today Has The Story:
WASHINGTON — Sen. Richard Shelby is the new top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, where he'll have an even greater say in how federal dollars are spent.
The slot opened when Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi moved to become the top GOP member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
For Shelby, it was a two-decade-long wait for his seniority to accumulate. Senate Republicans gave him a seat on the coveted committee after he switched parties in 1994, and Shelby has showered the state with federal money ever since — mostly for defense and aerospace projects, and medical, science and engineering facilities at public universities.