Entries in Richard Shelby (3)


Sen. Shelby Not Budging on Filibuster Threat of CFPB Nominee

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- One day after the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) opened its doors, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., doubled down on his resolve to block the appointment of the agency’s first leader.

“We fought it last year.  We’re going to continue to fight it,” Shelby told ABC News.

“This puts so much power, too much power, in one person, and we should never have done that,” he said of the Dodd-Frank law, which created the agency and its directorship last year.

“This is about accountability, and what we’re asking for is...not to change the mission, but of governance,” he said.  “And the president can do this.  If he doesn’t do it, I believe we’re not going to budge and we shouldn’t.”

This week, Obama nominated Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the new agency, but his appointment must be confirmed by the Senate.

Shelby said he doesn't oppose Cordray personally, but opposes any single person to head the agency.

He and 42 Republican colleagues have written to President Obama demanding a “structural change” to the bureau that would replace the director with a board of managers and subject it to the Congressional appropriations process.  The White House opposes the changes.

On the debt and deficit debate, Shelby took an equally firm stand against the prospect of a U.S. default, which has been raised by some House Republicans.

“I don’t believe we will default.  We should never think about defaulting,” he said, predicting there will be a temporary resolution before Aug. 2.

“If we don’t do something serious -- and I don’t believe we can do it in the next two weeks, in the next few months about spending -- we’re going to have a bigger can to kick down the road,” he said.

Shelby responded warmly to the $3.7 trillion deficit reduction framework drafted by the bipartisan "Gang of Six" Senators, but he suggested it’s too early to offer a full-fledged endorsement.

“We are looking at the details,” he said.  “I hope it is more than smoke and mirrors.  I hope it is no smoke and no mirrors.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Richard Shelby: 'We Grew Government, But Did Not Grow Economy'

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, rejected the idea that any new federal stimulus would help improve the dire unemployment picture, calling instead for tax reform and investment incentives to spur private sector jobs growth.

"I don't believe any new stimulus is going to pass in Congress. I don't think it has any credibility," Shelby said on ABC's This Week. "What we need to do is create some certainty, some conditions for people to invest, to grow, to have some confidence. There's not a lot of confidence in the economy right now all over America."

Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich disagreed, saying that when consumers and private sector investors are not spending, "then government has got to fill the gap."

He called for federal initiatives such as exempting the first $20,000 of income from payroll taxes to put more money in individuals' pockets to spur demand, as well as calling for a WPA-style direct employment program, as done by President Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression.

"Under these circumstances, consumers are pulling in. They are not spending. And if they are not spending, then jobs are not going to be created," Reich said.

But Shelby dismissed the notion that previous stimulus efforts had succeeded during the Obama administration.

"I believe that stimulus basically doesn't work for the most part. We've tried that," Shelby said. "The market grows the economy. We've grown the government, but we haven't grown the economy."

Shelby said that greater stability and reform on tax policy will create confidence for small and large businesses that currently have "a lot of money on the sidelines."

"We're talking about real income tax reform to give people incentives to create jobs," Shelby said. "The government stimulus will never turn the economy around."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Running Blue in a Red State; William Barnes Takes on Richard Shelby

Photo Courtesy - William G. Barnes for United States Senate(BIRMINGHAM, Alabama) -- What's it like to run as a Democratic U.S. Senate contender in Alabama this election year?  For GOP Sen. Richard Shelby's opponent William Barnes, it means answering your own phones.

When ABC News recently reached out to Barnes' campaign office, the voice on the other end of the line was not an intern, nor a press secretary, but the very man waging an uphill battle against a four-term incumbent senator.

"This is the candidate, himself," Barnes said, picking up the line at his small law practice in downtown Birmingham.

Lisa Ward, Barnes' campaign administrator, said a direct line to the 61-year-old Democrat is no coincidence.

"He does it on purpose. He likes to talk to as many people as he possibly can," Ward said.  "I've seen him drive 40 minutes just so he can put a sign on an old lady's yard."

Barnes, a former Army psychologist, has no illusions of grandeur about the likely November outcome.  The latest polling shows Shelby up by nearly 30 points, the Barnes campaign is short on cash and Shelby has an impressive campaign war chest currently exceeding $17 million, according to the most recent FEC disclosures.

Not since Sen. Howell Heflin's retirement in 1997 has a Democrat represented Alabama in the U.S. Senate.  So what compelled Barnes, a political novice with limited financial resources, to seek federal office?  He said the notion came to him four years ago, amid the daily duties of being a father.

"I used to take my daughter to school in downtown Birmingham.  And there was this old political billboard [of Shelby] next to the highway, and it intrigued me, and my research revealed that in all his years in the Senate, he never had any serious contenders in any of his races," Barnes said.  "That just planted a seed in my mind."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio