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Sen. Richard Shelby

Senator for Alabama

pronounced RIH-cherd // SHEL-bee


Shelby is the senior senator from Alabama and is a Republican (1994-), previously a Democrat (1987-1994). He has served since Jan 6, 1987. Shelby is next up for reelection in 2022 and serves until Jan 3, 2023.

He was previously the representative for Alabama’s 7th congressional district as a Democrat from 1979 to 1986.

Photo of Sen. Richard Shelby [R-AL]

Analysis

Legislative Metrics

Read our 2020 Report Card for Shelby.

Committee Membership

Richard Shelby sits on the following committees:

Enacted Legislation

Shelby was the primary sponsor of 31 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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Does 31 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.

We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Shelby sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:

Economics and Public Finance (50%) Taxation (17%) Public Lands and Natural Resources (11%) Sports and Recreation (11%) Armed Forces and National Security (11%)

Recently Introduced Bills

Shelby recently introduced the following legislation:

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Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.

Voting Record

Key Votes

Shelby voted Yea

Bill Passed 72/26 on Sep 28, 2016.

The Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017, and Zika Response and Preparedness Act (H.R. 5325) is an appropriations …

Shelby voted Nay

Conference Report Agreed to 83/16 on Dec 3, 2015.

H.R 22, formerly the Hire More Heroes Act, has become the Senate’s vehicle for passage of the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the …

Shelby voted Nay

Bill Passed 65/34 on Jul 30, 2015.

This vote turned H.R 22, originally the Hire More Heroes Act, into the Senate’s vehicle for passage of the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision …

Shelby voted Nay

Bill Passed 81/17 on Jul 16, 2015.

The Every Child Achieves Act is a bipartisan educational policy reform bill that would expand state responsibility over schools, provide grants to charter schools, and …

Shelby voted Yea

Joint Resolution Passed 78/22 on Sep 18, 2014.

Shelby voted Yea

Motion Agreed to 81/19 on Dec 15, 2010.

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111–312, H.R. 4853, 124 Stat. 3296, enacted December 17, 2010), also known …

Missed Votes

From Jan 1987 to May 2022, Shelby missed 266 of 11,904 roll call votes, which is 2.2%. This is on par with the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses and major life events.

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Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: