With Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) expected to take over the Senate Appropriations Committee — and likely the committee’s defense spending panel as well — following current Chairman Thad Cochran’s announcement that he plans to step down April1, Alabama looks to play an outsize role in crafting the Pentagon’s budget. The state’s congressional delegation boasts a high profile in the House as well, reports CQ. Martha Roby (R) serves on that chamber’s defense appropriations subcommittee and Robert Aderholt (R), who now chairs the agriculture spending panel, is vying to replace current House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) following his retirement at the end of this year’s session. Meanwhile, Mike Rogers (R) chairs the House Armed Services’ Strategic Forces Subcommittee, and two other Alabama Republicans, Reps. Mo Brooks and Bradley Byrne, also serve on Armed Services. The state is home to four major installations and has a significant defense manufacturing presence.