[Congressional Record Volume 168, Number 194 (Wednesday, December 14, 2022)]
[Pages S7174-S7177]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                      Tribute to Richard C. Shelby

  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I am going to take the prerogative as 
President Pro Tempore to speak because I know the distinguished 
Republican leader has already spoken, and I, of course, would have 
yielded to him had he not.
  It is always hard to say goodbye to friends, especially one as good 
as Senator Shelby, and one with whom I will walk out of here arm in 
  But I would say that we have to think about the time when this body 
and Nation are as divided as ever, Senator Richard Shelby's tenure 
exemplifies a commitment to cooperation and fairness.
  I have seen that not only in his public life, and what we see on the 
floor, but I see it in meetings we have in his office or my office, 
quiet meetings between the two of us, knowing we will always keep our 
  And so I would say at the conclusion of the 117th Congress, the 
Senate will lose a skilled leader and a true Senator of his word. That 
has been the way with our decades of service together.
  Senator Shelby's legacy, one marked by his intellect, his integrity, 
will undoubtedly persist in this body and throughout the country.
  My great mentor when I came here as the junior-most Member of the 
Senate was Robert Stafford of Vermont. Senator Stafford was Mr. 
Republican from Vermont, and he took me under his wing, and he said to 
me: Patrick, always keep your word, but you find you will be the best 
Senator if you learn to work across the aisle. You can work with people 
of integrity, both Republicans and Democrats, and you will find, among 
both parties, you will develop close friendships.
  But more than a fellow Senator, I am proud to consider Senator Shelby 
one of those great friends.
  The reference we have seen before to distinguished Republicans and 
Democrats--of course, we are all called distinguished Senators, but we 
consider in my family, in my house, some more distinguished than others 
but for different reasons. And a devotion to public service is 
ingrained in Senator Shelby's character.
  After he obtained his juris doctorate, Senator Shelby served as the 
Birmingham city prosecutor--I always like Senators who have been 
prosecutors--and an Alabama State senator.
  I never got elected--or the opportunity to be elected as State 
  But he began in 1978 his congressional career by serving Alabama's 
Seventh District in the House of Representatives, and for the last 36 
years, Senator Shelby tirelessly served Alabamians in the Senate--a 
person when they think of whom they look to, they look to him.
  And he has been fortunate to serve with some very good Senators from 
his State that have been friends of mine, a couple on the floor today.
  He built an impressive resume. He served on the Senate Appropriations 
Committee and the Intelligence Committee and the Banking Committee and 
the Rules Committee. And on the Appropriations Committee, Senator 
Shelby fought to allocate Federal dollars to key institutions and 
infrastructure across Alabama, but he did it openly and honestly. He 
should take great pride in his reputation as a leader who has truly 
improved the lives of his constituents--something Senators should do.
  And as two of the most senior Members of the Senate, I worked 
alongside Senator Shelby for decades. We spent countless hours working 
to pass the annual appropriations bills.
  Together, we negotiated the end of the longest government shutdown in 
U.S. history.
  And I remember, Senator Shelby, you and I sitting there and deciding: 
OK. We have an agreement ending the longest shutdown, and we told our 
leaders--a Republican leader and a Democratic leader--that we had 
worked out an agreement and here are the details. And they said, if you 
two have worked it out, that is good enough. And within hours, the 
longest shutdown ended--Senator Shelby coming on the floor announcing 
and me having the honor of joining him.
  We also share memories from traveling the world together on a variety 
of key diplomatic missions.
  Now, during that time, we had long discussions, candid discussions, 
open discussions. Thank God, discussions did not have a record, as we 
discussed what could be done better and should be done better in the 
  We formed a great friendship. Our wives--his wife, Dr. Annette 
Shelby, my wife, Marcelle--also had that friendship. And Dr. Shelby was 
able to quietly give history lessons on every single place we went to 
and would have--you remember this, Senator Shelby. The Senators and 
spouses were with us of both parties and would just sit there and 
quietly listen to Dr. Shelby--Professor Shelby.

  This came in very handy once in a visit to Cuba, where the leader in 
Cuba, President Raul Castro, was looking at us with suspicion, concern. 
Dr. Shelby talked about the Cuban students she taught at Georgetown, 
and, you remember, the whole atmosphere changed, and we all got along 
well after that.
  I could say so much more, and I will later, but I wish both you, my 
dear friend, and Annette the best in the next role of life. I will miss 
you. This will not be the same place without you, and it makes my 
leaving here that much easier.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The junior Senator from Alabama.
  Mr. TUBERVILLE. Madam President, as we near the end of the 117th 
Congress, we are also preparing to say farewell to some of the body's 
most dedicated public servants.
  Among those is Alabama's own Richard Craig Shelby.
  I have known Senator Shelby for many years, but I have most enjoyed 
getting to know him as a colleague and a friend in Congress.
  You know, his help and guidance have been invaluable to me since I 
came to the Senate 2 years ago. It was quite the transition from 
college football to politics, but I jumped into the ring because I care 
deeply about the future of our Nation, and I realized very quickly so 
does Richard Shelby.
  My transition to public office was supported by some great advisers 
who shared my belief in America. Chief among those allies is Senator 
  Even though he is a lifelong Alabama fan and pulled against me for 10 
years, we still became friends.
  Congress is like a football team. It has a lot of great players in 
different positions, but to come together, form a game plan, and get 
some wins for our country, those players need good coaches.
  Senator Shelby has been one of the best.
  Born in Birmingham, Senator Shelby graduated from the University of 
Alabama and the Birmingham School of Law, becoming a city prosecutor in 
Tuscaloosa. For all my Auburn folks back home, at least we can all 
agree that Senator Shelby is one of the finer things to come out of 
  Senator Shelby has represented Alabamians in Congress since 1979 and 
has served in the Senate since 1987--always keeping an eye on the 
future and the other eye on the people he has been serving.

[[Page S7175]]

  To say Senator Shelby committed his career to the betterment of his 
State and the Nation would be a huge understatement.
  His retirement is well-earned, and his work should be celebrated.
  So, today, I want to honor the countless hours--countless hours--he 
has spent fighting for Alabama and the many achievements he has 
championed for the betterment of all Americans.
  Senator Shelby's work has hit almost every corner of Alabama.
  No. 1, his focus on national defense, manufacturing, infrastructure, 
and education will be the hallmarks of his legacy.
  First, Senator Shelby's commitment to our State's defense industry is 
second--and I mean second--to none.
  His support for America's military and his belief in the abilities of 
Alabamians cemented our State's role as a leader in America's national 
defense infrastructure. In nearly every position he has held in the 
Senate, he has used the tools available to bolster our armed services 
and utilize resources Alabama offers.

  More recently, as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and 
Subcommittee on Defense, Senator Shelby delivered billions in crucial 
defense funding. His efforts helped significantly expand the 
capabilities of Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL. Redstone Arsenal 
has grown from a U.S. Army base to a collection of crucial facilities 
for our national defense and the Federal Government.
  The resources and responsibilities secured by Senator Shelby for the 
Redstone Arsenal increased its capabilities, missions, and tenants. 
Behind the fence at Redstone Arsenal today, we have the Army Materiel 
Command, the Army Aviation and Missile Command, the Missile Defense 
Agency, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, the Missile and Space 
Intelligence Center, and the expanding presence of the Federal Bureau 
of Investigation. Under Senator Shelby's leadership, the FBI's presence 
in Alabama will be its second largest, only behind Washington, DC.
  Along with myself and the entire Alabama delegation, Senator Shelby 
has also been instrumental in the work to permanently relocate U.S. 
Space Command to Redstone Arsenal--a move we hope to applaud after an 
official announcement by the Air Force in the very near future.
  Second, thanks to Senator Shelby's commitment to bringing jobs and 
industry to Alabama, our State has also grown into one of the country's 
leading manufacturing hubs.
  After a visit to Germany by Senator Shelby in the 1990s, he played a 
key role in bringing Mercedes-Benz and their suppliers to Alabama. 
Fast-forward a couple of decades, and today there are more than 40 
German suppliers in West Alabama alone. The impact of the automobile 
industry's Alabama migration has been huge for the workforce and the 
economy thanks to Senator Shelby.
  He was also crucial in recruiting suppliers for Airbus and its South 
Alabama manufacturing plant in Mobile, which added hundreds of millions 
of dollars to our economy and created thousands of very, very quality 
  His work to establish manufacturing centers at universities helped 
make Alabama home for many aerospace and defense companies, resulting 
in thousands more jobs and countless opportunities for growth.
  Third, that growth would not be possible without solid 
infrastructure, which Senator Shelby has helped build for decades.
  Alabama's vast and unique geography presented certain challenges for 
infrastructure but also many opportunities. Senator Shelby's ability to 
both foresee challenges and imagine opportunities has made him an 
invaluable tool throughout our State's growth.
  A lot of that growth has stemmed from our State's coastline and the 
Port of Mobile, one of the largest in the country. Now, the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers is working on a project to deepen the Mobile Ship 
Channel, allowing bigger ships to navigate Mobile Bay. With Senator 
Shelby's guidance and support, the Port Authority and terminals have 
steadily expanded the Mobile terminal, making it one of the fastest 
growing in the Nation.
  As a key player in Senate appropriations, Senator Shelby has secured 
many dollars for Alabama's infrastructure, upgrading highways, 
airports, and bridges.
  Fourth, all of this growth in defense, manufacturing, infrastructure, 
and more would mean nothing without the talented men and women who 
serve in our military, lead our companies, and pioneer the new 
industries driving economic development. That talent and those ideas 
are cultivated through education, and Senator Shelby believes in the 
value of quality education--even at Auburn University. He is the 
product of an Alabama public school and a State university. His 
personal experiences instilled in him a deep respect for the role of 
public education and a desire to make it the best it can be.
  To make sure our State was on par or leading other prestigious 
educational institutions, Senator Shelby fought to support and invest 
in Alabama schools. He delivered hundreds of millions of dollars to 
Alabama's universities to build math, science, and engineering 
complexes. These top-tier facilities have helped to bring students and 
experts from around the world to Alabama.
  Today, Airbus works closely with the University of Alabama's 
engineering program--a relationship that is the perfect example of 
connection between premier education, talent, and economic 
opportunities. Senator Shelby understands that relationship and its 
benefits, as does his wife, Dr. Annette Shelby, a decorated professor 
and lifelong education advocate. That understanding has driven his 
priorities throughout his career and helped Alabamians along the way.
  There are a lot of big personalities, big decisions, and big egos 
here in Washington, DC, but it takes commitment, humility, 
and patriotism to make a difference in the lives of others. Senator 
Shelby is a giant in the Senate because he never forgets about the 
things that matter the most, the little things, the things that are 
most important to everyday Americans back home. They have supported him 
for decades because he has always had their backs.

  As we bid farewell to Senator Shelby, I encourage all my colleagues 
to honor his legacy by following his example. Put your family, your 
country, and your principles first, and the rest will fall into place.
  We all know public service is not just a burden of time and effort 
for the servant; it is also for their families.
  So to Dr. Shelby, thank you for your steadfast service to our State 
alongside your husband.
  Senator Shelby, thank you for your mentorship over the past 2 years. 
I will use these lessons learned by serving with you for the rest of my 
time in the Senate and beyond.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The senior Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BLUNT. Madam President, a moment ago when I saw Senator Shelby 
and Senator Leahy shake hands warmly in the middle of the aisle, I 
thought of it as a century of service in the Congress. It is a century 
of learning lessons that fortunately they have both been able to share 
with us.
  I mentioned in my farewell remarks the other day Senator Shelby and 
Senator Leahy and how, working with both of them on the Appropriations 
Committee and the Rules Committee, I learned so much from them. But I 
was reminded today--I have heard a number of these speeches in the time 
I have been in the Senate, and I don't think anybody ever has reminded 
us quite so well of the oath we take--the oath we take to the 
Constitution, the oath we take to do this job as well as we can, and 
the promise we make, frankly, to find a solution.
  It is a lot easier in Washington these days and in the Senate it is a 
lot easier to find a fight than it is to find a solution. We have kind 
of fallen into a place where so many people now run for office talking 
about what they will never do. Frankly, when you start talking about 
what you will never do, that usually takes us out of the conversation 
of what can be done, and if anybody here has been a determined 
participant in finding what could be done, it is Senator Shelby.
  That certainly does not mean that he gives in easily. Many times I 
have been asked by other Members or the press: What do you think 
Senator Shelby is thinking about this final deal? I would say: I don't 
know what he is thinking,

[[Page S7176]]

but I know he is thinking, and I know we are not going to find out what 
he is thinking until he is ready to tell us what he is thinking. But he 
is trying to figure out a way to come to a conclusion that can actually 
solve the problem. And in the appropriating process, that problem is 
usually keeping the government in business.
  The other thing I have noticed especially about Senator Shelby is how 
often he is willing to share things that he hears from his family. His 
older sister used to--I would hear from him: Well, I got advice from my 
older sister. And I must think--I am wondering, Well, how old is your 
oldest sister? So I would usually ask him and be reminded of that.
  But I benefit from the advice too. Just like his sister was calling 
him and saying whatever it was they were talking about that day, he was 
always talking about his sons and always talking about Mrs. Shelby. You 
know, I have such great respect for her.
  He said to me: You know, you are married to a strong woman too.
  I said: Yes, I am.
  He said: We better not forget it.
  And he hasn't forgotten it, nor has he forgotten to appreciate her 
and brag on her and understand what an important part of his life and 
his career she has been. I hope I have learned something from that as 
  Team Shelby is pretty good. You know, Richard has surrounded himself 
with people who have stayed in his working orbit. They may go from one 
committee to another or maybe they stay right where they are, being 
sure they keep him on time. Maybe they find out that if you are going 
to travel, you are going to travel in a way that absolutely reaches the 
diplomatic conclusion and the helpful conclusion for the country and 
Alabama it was designed to make. So I have always been a big respecter 
of Team Shelby as well.

  I was particularly impressed to watch Team Shelby--whether they knew 
it or not, they just produced their own Senator. I think Katie Britt is 
going to be a great Member of the Senate. One of the reasons is she was 
such an important part of Senator Shelby's efforts here. He listened to 
her, she listened to him, and when it came time to step up, I don't 
think any Member in the Senate who I am aware of has ever made a 
greater commitment to try to be sure that they were replaced by 
somebody who would do the best possible job of following their legacy 
for the State.
  It has been wonderful for me to get to be on the Appropriations 
Committee and the Rules Committee and work with Senator Shelby but also 
all the many times we have had just to talk about what is going on that 
day, what was going on with his family, what was happening with his 
  I am glad to be here today and share with him how much I benefited 
from the great friendship we have had but more importantly the great 
example and to be reminded again of our oath to the Constitution and 
the importance of being a problem-solver rather than being the person 
who always wants to talk about the problem. Richard always wants to 
solve the problem, and the country is better for that, and so is the 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The senior Senator from North Dakota.
  Mr. HOEVEN. Madam President, I just wanted to add my congratulatory 
remarks and thanks to Senator Shelby, the senior Senator from Alabama. 
For me, he will always be the chairman. He has certainly been my 
mentor, and I think the Senator from Missouri and others would say the 
same thing. He has been our mentor on appropriations--in my case, for 
12 years--and I would have to say, to me, it is amazing how well he 
understands the process--of course, he has been at it for a while--how 
well he understands the process, how well he works it.
  The people he hires are so good. That is something we have to work 
with as chairmen of the subcommittees, is our staff administrators as 
well, and in working with Chairman Shelby, we are always going to get 
just absolutely the very, very best people. So it wasn't just his staff 
director for the full committee but the staff directors we had on the 
subcommittee. I think the Senator from Missouri would back me up on 
that. We were able to have such good people who really understood the 
process very well also, and that is incredibly important in 
appropriations because you have all these things that are authorized, 
and then we have to figure out what to fund and how to fund, and not 
only that but how to get those bills passed at the committee level and 
ultimately passed across the floor. Of course, everybody has a 
tremendous interest in what is in those appropriations bills. So it is 
not just the process he understood so well and worked so well but his 
understanding of people.
  He wasn't the person who always talked, and he certainly wasn't 
always the person, when he talked, who talked the longest. But I have 
always believed that sometimes a person who can express a thought in 
the most cogent way--in other words, express a full, complete thought 
that is appropriate at the time and that actually makes the point in 
the fewest number of words--actually shows the keenest intellect. Try 
it sometime. Try saying as much as you can in terms of something 
important and making a point in the fewest possible words. It truly 
does take a keen mind.

  The chairman not only had a keen mind for the policy in what needed 
to be done but in also working with people. I think, maybe, that that 
is something I appreciate even more. It is that, when you worked with 
Chairman Shelby, he took the time to understand what was important to 
you. Then, to the best of his ability, he would try to help you 
accomplish that.
  Now, if you kind of thought, Well, that is pretty good. I think I 
will go back and try to get a few more things, sometimes he would have 
to remind you that you have got to prioritize. He might remind you 
with, boy, you are kind of pushing for a lot there. In that respect, it 
gave you perspective. That is important too. That is important too.
  Yet, for the things that really mattered and for the things that you 
needed to get done, he really took the time to work and make it happen. 
That might not have happened in one cycle. That might have been 
something that he would have recognized as being, OK. I get it. This is 
important to you, and we, maybe, can't chop that tree down with one 
swing at the ax, but do you know what? We will keep working on this. I 
will work with you on it. I will mentor you on it, and we will get that 
  He gave you the confidence that it actually would happen because you 
knew he was going to stick there with you. I guess, in return, you 
know, you had to try to make sure you were doing your part.
  In that respect, that would be the one other part I would mention. He 
also understood there were times that you could accomplish and do what 
he wanted you to do and vote with him and that you probably should, but 
then he also recognized there were times when you couldn't, and he 
accepted that. I think that takes an awful lot, too, because there are 
a lot of type A personalities around here, and it can get a little 
demanding once in a while.
  I think he understood both the leadership and the idea of, OK, let's 
get something done, but then also sometimes understanding that you had 
to make a decision that might not be exactly what he wanted in that 
situation and accept it.
  I guess the final point I would make is--I really like sports. I have 
always enjoyed sports. Now that I am an old guy, all I get to do is 
watch them anymore, but Senator-Chairman Shelby likes sports too. 
Anyone who knows him pretty well knows that he is somewhat partial to 
the Tide. He is kind of an Alabama fan. Now, that might be because he 
played football for Alabama. I don't know how many know it, but back in 
the day of Bart Starr, who, obviously, was an incredible football hero 
for the Green Bay Packers, I remember, as a kid, watching him win the 
first two Super Bowls with the Green Bay Packers against the Chiefs and 
the Raiders. So, when I got here and found out that Chairman Shelby had 
been a tight end on the Alabama team where Bart Starr was the 
quarterback, I thought, Wow, that is pretty cool. As a result of that, 
I think I always looked to talk to him about sports. I would talk about 
the North Dakota State Bison football team. Not surprisingly, he would 
talk about his beloved Alabama football team.
  I have to say, you know, probably most people when they watch the 

[[Page S7177]]

play--and that seems to be pretty frequently--you know, for a national 
championship or in important games, they think of Bear Bryant, Coach 
Bryant--the coach--and how he kind of got the whole Alabama football 
dynasty going. That is another thing that is interesting; that Chairman 
Shelby knew Bear Bryant and worked with some of Bear Bryant's other 
really great players, like Joe Namath and a few others.

  So I loved hearing those stories. I have to tell you that, not only 
now but for as long as I am around, I will always take an abiding 
interest in watching the Alabama football team play.
  Most people probably think, you know, when they think about icons and 
are watching the Alabama football game and go, ``Oh, yes, that Bear 
Bryant, didn't he start something amazing? Isn't that an amazing 
dynasty?''--oh, I have got to do one quick story, and that is we like 
to kid the chairman.
  One year, Alabama had a particularly good football team, and a story 
we were kind of teasing him about was, Hey, did you see the new 
football rankings that came out for college football?
  You know, we would say: Well, who was No. 1?
  He would say: Well, Alabama, of course.
  They would say: Well, then, who was No. 2?
  Well, Alabama's second string.
  Then we would say: Ah, that is good. How about No. 3?
  Well, that is Clemson--or somebody else.
  We would say: OK. Well, how about No. 4?
  Well, that is Alabama's third string.
  So we would like to tease and have fun.
  But whenever I watch the Alabama football games now, it is not only 
about Bear Bryant; I think about Chairman Shelby. I think about all of 
the amazing things that he has done in Congress, in the House and in 
the Senate, not only for Alabama--and he has done quite a few good 
things for Alabama, but he has done an awful lot of good things for 
this country. I think, where the rubber really hits the road on so many 
of these things when legislation gets authorized, whether it is defense 
or anything else, it has got to be funded.
  So, if you really look back at the length of this gentleman's career 
in the House and in the Senate and at what he has actually done and at 
all of the things that he has been a part of and been involved with, it 
is monumental. It is iconic. It is a big, big deal, and we are going to 
miss him a lot.
  I just want to say thank you to Senator Shelby and to his wonderful, 
beautiful, classy wife, Annette, from both myself and my wife, Mikey. 
It has been great working with him. I hope we will see a lot of him in 
the future.
  Congratulations on just an incredible career in the U.S. Congress and 
U.S. Senate.
  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  (Mr. KAINE assumed the Chair.)
  (Mr. BOOKER assumed the Chair.)
  Mr. KAINE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

   200th Anniversary of United States and Mexico Bilateral Relations

  Mr. KAINE. Mr. President, I do rise for multiple purposes. The first 
is to acknowledge that earlier this week, on Monday, December 12, we 
marked the historic bicentennial of diplomatic relations between the 
United States and Mexico.
  Our two countries share a 2,000-mile border, an extensive trade, 
security, economic, cultural, and familial ties.
  Our cultural ties are particularly deep. Forty million Americans have 
Mexican heritage, many of whom are proud residents of Virginia. People 
of Mexican origin represent nearly 60 percent of our Nation's Hispanic 
population, and 2 million Americans live in Mexico. These people-to-
people ties are invaluable.
  The two countries share an important tradition of democracy, and 
those traditions require consistent work and maintenance to ensure 
strong and independent institutions, rule of law, and democratic 
  We know that upholding democracy in both our nations isn't always 
easy, but it is a vital endeavor, and it is the bedrock of our 
partnership. As we celebrate the bicentennial, it is crucial that the 
Senate and the U.S. Government as a whole continue all efforts to 
advance this relationship.
  I want to commend the Biden administration for working side by side 
with Mexican leaders and taking on the many challenges we face 
together. This is exactly what we should be doing with such a close 
neighboring partner, and I am committing to continue to support these 
efforts through my role on the Foreign Relations Subcommittee over the 
Americas, which I chair.
  Through the high-level economic dialogue, the high-level security 
dialogue, the North American Leaders' Summit, and innumerable local and 
national engagements, the United States and Mexico have worked more 
closely in addressing our shared priorities.
  We have got to ensure that the future of the U.S.-Mexico relationship 
continues to be grounded in shared prosperity and the protection of 
fundamental freedoms that are so important to both of our people.
  I will have a more formal and detailed statement on the bicentennial 
that I will have submitted for the Record.