Byrd gives up chairmanship


Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., announced this afternoon he’s stepping down as chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, effective Jan. 6, 2009.

But Byrd, who’s never know for his succinctness, started out his statement with a little (unintentional?) humor.

To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.”

Which, of course, is a verse from Ecclesiastes from the Bible. But it’s also a lyric from the famous song by the sixties group The Byrds.

The Byrds?

Sen. Byrd?

Oh, we’re just cracking ourselves up here.

But seriously folks, Byrd’s expected to take on an honorary chairman title or something similar in exchange for giving up his chairman’s gavel. Byrd, 90, has had increasing difficulties with public speeches and performing the minutiae that comes along with the chairmanship. In his statement, Byrd says the time has come to pass the gavel to Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, who had been rumored to be Byrd’s replacement as chairman.


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