WASHINGTON (AP) — Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby is on the brink of becoming the new chairman of the Appropriations Committee, a post with great influence over more than $1 trillion in annual spending.

Shelby was confirmed by panel members to lead the committee and is sure to be ratified by the full Senate soon.

He will replace Mississippi Republican Thad Cochran, who recently retired from the Senate due to poor health.

Shelby said he doesn't know whether he would support a likely White House effort to roll back recent spending increases that have drawn the ire of conservatives, but that "it might be that Congress is going to stay where they are."

Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri would take over Shelby's current role as chairman of the low-profile Rules Committee.