Monday, June 28, 2010

Senator Robert Byrd Dead at 92; Robert Byrd Dies after Falling Ill

Senator Robert C. Byrd died at age 92.  Byrd was the longest serving US Senator, and fell ill over the weekend.  Robert Byrd was]s "seriously ill" according to his office, but then passed away. He was 92 years old, and was a Democrat from West Virginia. He went to the hospital with symptoms of heat exhaustion and dehydration as temperatures eclipsed 100 degrees in the nation's Capital.

President Obama's agenda could be jeopardized by Byrd's passing, as it was during the healthcare debate. Byrd came in to several key votes in his wheelchair to the applause of his colleagues.

Many wondered what would happen if Byrd became too ill to serve, and who would be elected.  The prospect is scary for Senate Democrats as after the death of Senator Kennedy, Scott Brown became the first Republican to be elected as a Massachusetts Senator in several decades.

There are key issues that Senate would like to resolve this week before they adjourn for the 4th of July holiday.  The financial overhaul bill is on the horizon.

The Senator was in his current role since 1959, and even served as a leader in the Senate in the 1970's and 1980's.  He cast over 18,000 votes and funneled lots of funds to his home state.  Roads, bridges, and infrastructure are named in his honor as he truly served them well.

The Democrats need all the votes they can get to pass the financial overhaul bill.  Will there be a stalemate with the financial overhaul like there is with the unemployment extension? What will happen now that this Democratic Senator has passed?

The Senate will break for the 4th of July holiday, and several pieces of legislation should be passed before they adjourn. This will likely put a damper on the assembly and could limit what is accomplished.

Robert Byrd should be remembered as a great Senator.  He was present in Washington for generations, and was a dynamic and pivotal leader.  He will be missed.

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