Mitch McConnell: ‘Alabama has benefited from the devoted leadership of Senator Richard Shelby’
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), a Yellowhammer State native, took to the floor Monday to speak about the Sunday tornadoes in east Alabama and praise Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) for “his hard work and steady hand” in securing disaster relief.
McConnell first made it clear where his heart was and thanked first responders for their heroic efforts.
“I know the entire Senate joins me today in offering deep sympathies to the communities affected by yesterday’s spate of tornadoes in east Alabama and Georgia,” he said. “As first responders continue to search for survivors in the rubble, we know that at least 23 innocent lives were lost to this disaster, all in Lee County, Alabama. Our condolences are especially with their loved ones — and our gratitude is with the emergency personnel and local officials who have spearheaded evacuation and rescue efforts.”
McConnell continued, “The people of Alabama are all too familiar with the pain caused by devastating storms like yesterday’s. The entire region has been hit hard in recent years, seemingly by one disaster after another. And they continue to brace against the threat of hurricanes and the flooding that so often impacts communities in my state of Kentucky.”
The Senate chief then singled out Shelby for his leadership.
“But at every step of the way — from response and recovery to resilient achievement — Alabama has benefited from the devoted leadership of Senator Richard Shelby,” McConnell advised.
He outlined, “On the specific issue of disaster recovery, [Shelby’s] hard work and steady hand have helped lead the charge. When supplemental funding for natural disaster relief receives floor time here in the Senate, it will be thanks to the hard work of our colleagues like Senator Perdue [R-GA], Senator Isakson [R-GA] and others, and Chairman Shelby.
McConnell then explained that this type of leadership exemplifies Shelby’s tenure serving the people of Alabama. Sunday marked Shelby becoming the longest-serving U.S. Senator ever from the state.
“Of course, this is far from the only area in which Richard Shelby has delivered results for his state and for the nation. For years, he’s made a personal mission out of restoring and improving our nation’s infrastructure,” McConnell said. “He’s brought wise and decisive leadership to as our chief appropriator. And the state of Alabama bears countless signs of Senator Shelby’s dedicated service: From supporting the missile defense and space exploration programs in Huntsville, to helping establish the National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, where researchers forecast floods and work to mitigate water-related hazards.”
He concluded, “So it’s as fitting a day as any to praise Senator Shelby’s continued service. But it also happens that over the weekend, the current senior Senator from Alabama became the longest-serving senator in the history of the state. I couldn’t be happier to recognize my friend, Richard Shelby, on this occasion. And I know each of our colleagues will join me in congratulating him on the years of faithful service to Alabamians that have made this recognition possible.”
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn