September 24th, 2009
02:24 PM ET
5 years ago

Senator released from hospital

Sen. Robert Byrd has been released from the hospital.
Sen. Robert Byrd has been released from the hospital.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, was released from the hospital Thursday after falling in his home two days earlier.

The 91-year-old Byrd has been hospitalized since Tuesday so that doctors could "monitor and treat a spike in his white-blood cell count, a symptom that is usually an early sign of an infection," the senator's office said in a statement.

His office also said that the senator "is looking forward to engaging in the upcoming debate and votes on health care reform – one of the most critical issues facing this Congress."

Over the next couple of days, Byrd will continue his recovery at home, his office said.

The longest serving senator in U.S. history, Byrd was first elected to the House in 1952 and was elected to the Senate in 1958.


Filed under: Robert Byrd
September 22nd, 2009
11:11 AM ET
5 years ago

Byrd taken to the hospital after fall

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, was taken to a Washington-area hospital Tuesday, after falling in his home, a spokesman confirms to CNN.

Jesse Jacobs, Byrd's spokesman, said the senator "stood up too fast this morning and fell down."

"To err on the side of caution his caregiver called an ambulance," Jacobs said in an e-mail to CNN. "He was taken to the hospital where he is currently being checked out. At this point in time there is no indication that he will be admitted."

Byrd was first elected to the House in 1952 and arrived in the Senate in 1958. The 91-year-old Byrd is the longest-serving senator in U.S. history.


Filed under: Robert Byrd
July 21st, 2009
02:04 PM ET
5 years ago

Byrd returns to the Senate

Sen. Robert Byrd returned to the Senate for a vote Tuesday.
Sen. Robert Byrd returned to the Senate for a vote Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - West Virginia Democrat Sen. Robert Byrd ended a two-month absence from the Senate Tuesday when he returned for a vote on the F-22 jet fighter program.

In a statement issued by his office Tuesday, Byrd said it was "wonderful to be back in the august body where I have served for more than 50 years, and to see all my colleagues who have been so supportive of me during my recent hospitalization."

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who as the Democratic whip is in charge of counting the party's votes in the chamber, told reporters he was glad to see his colleague back. "All's right in the world: Robert C. Byrd is on the floor of the Senate," Durbin says he told Byrd when the two men saw each other today. He says the West Virginia senator smiled in response.

Byrd has been away from the Senate since mid-May, when he was hospitalized for a minor infection, then contracted a staph infection while he was in the hospital.

His office said the senator is expected to ease back into his duties, and to vote on Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination, health care reform, and climate change legislation.

–CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett contributed to this report.


Filed under: Robert Byrd • Senate
June 30th, 2009
03:17 PM ET
5 years ago

Sen. Byrd released from hospital

 Sen. Robert Byrd was released from the hospital Tuesday after a six week stay.
Sen. Robert Byrd was released from the hospital Tuesday after a six week stay.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Robert Byrd was released from the hospital Tuesday, after a six week stay that kept the 91-year-old West Virginia Democrat away from Capitol Hill.

A statement from Byrd's office said that he is "resting comfortably at home, where he will continue his recuperation and physical therapy." The statement did not say when the senator would return to work. The Senate is currently in recess for the Fourth of July holiday.

Byrd was hospitalized on May 15 with an infection and was expected to return to work after a few days. But the Senate's longest serving member developed a staph infection while being treated for his original infection.

Previous statements released by Byrd's office indicated that he was "resuming some of his official duties while recuperating, including signing several … bills as president pro tempore of the Senate, and working with staff on upcoming appropriations bills."

Byrd served in the House from 1953 to 1959 and moved across the Capitol to the Senate in 1959.


Filed under: Robert Byrd
June 22nd, 2009
06:37 PM ET
6 years ago

Byrd likely to remain hospitalized at least another week

WASHINGTON (CNN) - West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd's hospital stay will likely extend for at least another week, his office said Monday.

Byrd, a 91-year-old Democrat, entered the hospital on May 15 as a precautionary measure. A statement by his office three days later said he was
expected to be released "in a few days."

However, Byrd developed a staph infection while hospitalized, and his office said Monday he "continues to improve but remains in the hospital while he undergoes physical therapy and treatment for" the staph infection.

Byrd, a Democrat, "is not expected" to be in his office this week, according to the statement. It said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, will help fill in for Byrd by managing the chamber's consideration of the Homeland Security Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2010 this week.

"Sen. Byrd is resuming some of his official duties while recuperating, including signing several ... bills as president pro tempore of the Senate, and
working with staff on upcoming appropriations bills," the statement said.

Byrd was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1958, and is the chamber's longest-serving member.


Filed under: Robert Byrd
May 18th, 2009
04:32 PM ET
6 years ago

Byrd hospitalized for infection

West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd was hospitalized last week.
West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd was hospitalized last week.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd was hospitalized late last week for a temperature spike caused by an infection, according to a statement released by Byrd's office Monday.

Byrd, a 91-year-old Democrat, entered the hospital last Friday afternoon as precautionary measure. He is "being treated with antibiotics, responding well, and is expected to be released from the hospital in a few days," according to the statement.

Byrd was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1958.


Filed under: Robert Byrd
February 25th, 2009
11:41 AM ET
6 years ago

Byrd gives Obama heat over 'Czars'

Sen. Byrd has written a letter to the President.
Sen. Byrd has written a letter to the President.

(CNN) - One day after his address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama is taking heat from the most senior Democratic senator over the recent appointments of a handful of White House "czars."

Robert Byrd, the Senate pro tempore from West Virginia, said in a letter to the president he is concerned the appointments of new so called 'czars' in the offices of health, urban affairs and climate change are not subject to Senate approval and could therefore shield information from congress under the right of executive privilege.

"Too often, I have seen these lines of authority and responsibility become tangled and blurred, sometimes purposely, to shield information and to obscure the decision-making process," Byrd wrote in the letter.

“As presidential assistants and advisers, these White House staffers are not accountable for their actions to the Congress, to cabinet officials, and to virtually anyone but the president," he continued. "In too many instances, White House staff have been allowed to inhibit openness and transparency, and reduce accountability."

Byrd also urged the president to prohibit the right of executive privilege from appointees' in agencies overseen by the Senate.

Byrd, 91, is marking his 50th year in the Senate.


Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama • Robert Byrd
June 3rd, 2008
02:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Byrd to remain in Hospital

 Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Byrd.
Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Byrd.

(CNN) - Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, will remain in the hospital for several days, according to a statement from his Senate office.

“At the recommendation of his physicians, Senator Robert C. Byrd will remain in the hospital for several more days for monitoring and antibiotic treatment for a mild infection," said the statement.

“Byrd is alert, talking with staff and in good spirits and looks forward to getting back to work as soon as possible.”

Byrd was hospitalized Monday night after the 90-year-old Democrat from West Virginia appeared lethargic when he arrived at his Senate office in preparation for a vote on global warming, the spokesman said.


Filed under: Robert Byrd
May 19th, 2008
01:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Byrd endorses Obama

Sen. Byrd endorsed Obama's presidential bid Monday.
Sen. Byrd endorsed Obama's presidential bid Monday.

(CNN) - Sen. Robert Byrd, the longest-serving senator in American history, announced Monday he is endorsing Barack Obama's White House bid.

Byrd, 90, has served as West Virginia's senator for nearly fifty years, and is one of the chamber's most vocal critics on the war in Iraq.

"After a great deal of thought, consideration and prayer over the situation in Iraq, I have decided that, as a superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention, I will cast my vote for Senator Barack Obama for President," Byrd said in a statement released by his office. "Both Senators Clinton and Obama are extraordinary individuals, whose integrity, honor, love for this country and strong belief in our Constitution I deeply respect."

"I believe that Barack Obama is a shining young statesman, who possesses the personal temperament and courage necessary to extricate our country from this costly misadventure in Iraq, and to lead our nation at this challenging time in history," Byrd also said. "Barack Obama is a noble-hearted patriot and humble Christian, and he has my full faith and support."

The endorsement is not without symbolism. Byrd was a leader of the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan as a young man and was, along with several southern Democrats, an opponent of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He has since denounced his previous views on racial segregation.

West Virginia's other senator, Jay Rockefeller, endorsed Obama earlier this year. Hillary Clinton carried the state by 41 points last week.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Robert Byrd
April 9th, 2008
09:00 AM ET
2 years ago

Byrd won't give up top committee spot

Sen. Robert Byrd is chairman of the Appropriations Committee.
Sen. Robert Byrd is chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senior Democratic senators privately considered Tuesday Sen. Robert Byrd's capacity to handle his spot at the top of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, but the 90-year-old lawmaker won't be stepping down from the demanding job, his office told CNN.

Roll Call first reported the discussions by several Democratic senators, and a Democratic aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to CNN the thrust of the newspaper report.

"There are some who have concerns," the aide said. "Ahead of the appropriations season, some people have concerns which leaked out of a meeting."

But the West Virginia senator's spokesman, Jesse Jacobs, rejected talk of replacing Byrd as chairman of the committee.

"Once again, it appears that Washington insiders are practicing what they do best - petty rumor mongering," Jacobs said in a statement.

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Filed under: Robert Byrd
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