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Photo: Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) announced Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2022.

Why it matters: The 86-year-old lawmaker is the top Republican on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. He was first elected to the Senate in 1986 as a Democrat, before changing parties in 1994.

  • Throughout his six terms, Shelby chaired a trio of highly influential committees — banking, intelligence and rules — before heading appropriations.

The big picture: Shelby is the fourth Senate Republican to announce his retirement in 2022, following Rob Portman (Ohio), Richard Burr (N.C.) and Pat Toomey (Pa.).

  • His retirement could set off an intra-party scramble for a replacement, as Republicans navigate which direction to take the party following the presidency of Donald Trump.
  • Democrats are thought to have little chance in deep-red Alabama, where Tommy Tuberville knocked off incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Jones by more than 20 points in November.

What he's saying: “Today I announce that I will not seek a seventh term in the United States Senate in 2022. For everything, there is a season,” Shelby wrote in a statement.

  • “I am grateful to the people of Alabama who have put their trust in me for more than forty years. I have been fortunate to serve in the U.S. Senate longer than any other Alabamian."
  • “Although I plan to retire, I am not leaving today. I have two good years remaining to continue my work in Washington. I have the vision and the energy to give it my all.”

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to reflect that Shelby is in his sixth term in the Senate (not his seventh).

Go deeper

Updated 44 mins ago - Economy & Business

Hybrid work now dominates the knowledge economy

llustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, most knowledge workers are in hybrid work arrangements, partly remote and partly in-office, a new survey finds.

By the numbers: 58% said they now work this way, in a survey of around 10,000 knowledge workers from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Japan, conducted last November by Future Forum, a research group backed by Slack.

Rents hit all-time high

Data: Zumper; Chart: Axios Visuals

The national median price of a one-bedroom rental apartment in January was up 12% year-over-year, to $1,374 — an all-time high, per Zumper, an online apartment rental site.

Why it matters: Inflation is taking a bigger bite out of people's paychecks these days not only in food and gasoline, but also in housing costs.

A pandemic victim: Ethical supply chains

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Over the last decade, global companies have put in place elaborate policies to ensure their suppliers protect worker safety and human rights. They're struggling to comply with those policies in the pandemic.

Driving the news: COVID-era disruptions have caused a spike in noncompliance with health and safety rules, according to new data from Qima, which audits supply chains.