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The Democrats plot against Senator Byrd

Dissatisfied with his handling of the appropriations process this year, Senate Democrats are considering ways to oust Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia from his Chairmanship of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. John Bresnahan reports for The Politico:

Under one scenario being circulated in Democratic circles, the 90-year-old Byrd would be named "chairman emeritus," and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) would become "acting chairwoman" for the remainder of the 110th Congress.

Democratic insiders caution, though, that no decision has been made.

But there is broad discontent among committee members over the way Byrd has run the panel this year and the resulting problems in completing work on the fiscal 2008 spending bills, leading some members to privately push for Byrd's replacement as chairman.

His physical condition has been slowly deteriorating for years, and he cannot walk now without the assistance of aides.

Read the whole story at the above link. When Strom Thurmond's abilities had deteriorated, Republicans convinced him to voluntarily yield his Armed Services Chairmanship - but only in the next term, and only after quietly indicating it was in the Senator's own interests. Byrd may not be ready to "go gently into that good night," and is still a very powerful man, which explains why no one will go on the record about this potential coup attempt. A failed coup would mean tough sledding for the offenders' states in the pork department.

Byrd has obviously lost a few steps, but replacing him with Patty Murray? She could well be the dumbest person on Capitol Hill. That may be the unkindest cut of all.

Leaking the plan may be designed to put pressure on Byrd to step down.


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Comments (7)

Byrd has no reason to step ... (Below threshold)

Byrd has no reason to step down. He's got tremendous power thanks to Harry Reid and Dick Durbin, and he hasn't been afraid to use it.

Seems the only ones who are afraid to make needed changes are the Dems themselves...The 'Party of Change'.

". . .he cannot walk now wi... (Below threshold)

". . .he cannot walk now without the assistance of aides." Why do I have this image of him being carried aloft in a sedan chair?

Democrat leadership is an o... (Below threshold)

Democrat leadership is an oxymoron! ww

They're putting Patty Murra... (Below threshold)

They're putting Patty Murray in charge of appropriations??!!! She's dumber than a box of rocks. Hell of an upgrade dems.

This oughta be REAL good. LOLOL

Would you please post some ... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Would you please post some links regarding the IQ of Murray and Rocks? This seems like a stretch but I am open to real evidence.
Yes Byrd needs to pack it in...
But hey...After the Republican landslide of 2008 this won't even be a problem.
I believe we all share the common ground of being glad that Murtha is not a Senator on Appropriations. Only Stevens is more slimy than Murtha...

Holey sheet! they want Byrd... (Below threshold)

Holey sheet! they want Byrd out bad!

"Islamic people love OBL be... (Below threshold)

"Islamic people love OBL because he builds them schools and medical clinics"
-Sen Patty Murray, late fall 2001

I rest my case.






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