Feb 19 2010

Shelby: Government spending 'out of control'

by Jimmy DeButts
Sen. Richard Shelby spoke to the Trussville Area Chamber of Commerce Thursday.
View Larger Sen. Richard Shelby issued a warning on out-of-control government spending while promoting government-financed projects for Alabama on Thursday.

Alabama’s senior senator said the Obama administration is on pace to turn a $10 trillion deficit into $20 trillion during a speech before the Trussville Area Chamber of Commerce. Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, reminded the audience he led the charge against federal bank and automaker bailouts.

Shelby warned federal entitlements and deficit spending will ultimately hurt the nation’s economy. During the question and answer portion of the speech, the four-term senator said he will fight to keep funding for NASA’s Constellation program that the Obama administration has cut in its proposed 2011 budget. Huntsville is home to the project that Shelby helped save $600 million for last year.

Obama said he wants to use private partners for the moon mission project.

Shelby wants help from senators in Florida, California and Texas to protect the NASA programs that provide jobs in those states. He challenged Obama to find other projects to cut from if NASA is to lose funding.

“If they are going to end that, they need to look at everything,” Shelby said.

Shelby also took credit for earmarking $700 million in federal funds for the state’s colleges, including the University of Alabama at Birmingham which whose biomedical research building bears his name.