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Senator "Coach" Tuberville Quietly Effective

As the end of 2023 was approaching, the U.S. Senate had ignored the custom to adjourn around Thanksgiving for a month-long Christmas break. Instead, they were working right up to Christmas. Our Senior Senator Tommy Tuberville was quietly and effectively maneuvering to get things accomplished with an adroitness exhibited by U.S. Senate veterans.

Alabama’s senior United States Senator has become an adept political operator during his three and a half years in the upper chamber of Congress. Political observers did not know what to expect when a man, who prefers the title “Coach” to “Senator” came to Washington, and he has surprised many with his ability to get his priorities accomplished.

A good example of the Coach’s savvy occurred in the days leading up to Christmas, as the Senate worked to craft an end-of-year nominations package. These packages often come together at the close of the year and approve multiple presidential nominees for senior executive branch positions in the final days of the congressional session. Leadership and the Senate’s most senior members control which nominations make it into the package.

Senator Tuberville collaborated with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure his friend and fellow Alabamian, former 11-term Congressman Spencer Bachus, was included in the package in the final hours of the 2023 session. The Senate operates on the rule of unanimous consent, meaning that a single Senator can throw a wrench into its operations and bring the entire body to a standstill. The Coach has established credibility in the Senate, and his colleagues have come to learn that when he threatens to hold up a legislative package, they had better take him at his word. This credibility has given him the ability to get things done.

As a result of Senator Tuberville’s efforts, Congressman Bachus was included in the yearend package and confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate for a second term on the Board of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Originally appointed by President Trump, Bachus’ senior leadership role at America’s leading Development finance bank has allowed him to provide financing to strategically important United State companies and industries to ensure the United States remains competitive with adversaries like China.

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed supply chain vulnerabilities in the United States, and the Export-Import Bank has played a key role in helping to fortify domestic supply lines for industries vital to national security. Thanks to Senator Tuberville’s efforts, Alabama will continue to have a voice at this powerful federal agency in Spencer Bachus.

This yearend coup by Senator Tuberville, to get the revered Jefferson County, former Congressman Spencer Bachus reappointed to the Export-Import Bank, was expedited with the assistance of Coach’s brilliant young assistant Emory Cox. Folks should not underestimate Coach Tuberville. He is used to working in the trenches.

Alabamians should also not underestimate how close Senator “Coach” Tuberville and former President Donald Trump are. If Trump is reelected, Tuberville will be Trump’s closest ally and friend in the U.S. Senate. Alabama will be in the catbird seat in a Trump administration because of Tuberville.

Former Congressman Spencer Bachus had a successful 22-year run as the 6th district’s congressman. However, his successor, Gary Palmer is doing a Yeoman’s job in this seat. The 6th congressional district is an affluent district, which includes the upscale suburbs of Jefferson County as well as burgeoning upscale Shelby County.

Congressman Gary Palmer is beginning his 11th year in the U.S. Congress. He disposed of two opponents in the just ended March GOP Primary and should have clear sailing for as long as he wants to stay in this 6th congressional district seat.

Palmer has become a player among the Republican congressional ranks. Prior to going to congress, he founded and ran the very conservative “think tank” – The Alabama Policy Institute. Therefore, he is viewed as an expert on policy issues. He is a leader in the GOP steering committee that sets policy and the agenda for the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. He also serves on the very important House Energy and Transportation Committee.

See you next week.

Steve Flowers is Alabama’s leading political columnist. His weekly column appears in over 60 Alabama newspapers. He served 16 years in the state legislature. Steve may be reached at steve@steveflowers.us.

 

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