July 21st, 2009
02:04 PM ET
12 years ago

Byrd returns to the Senate

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/21/art.byrd0721.gi.jpg caption="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
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. DaBird

    He is a perfect example of why term limits are needed.

    July 21, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. Joe in CA

    Please, vote him out at election time. What makes this old man more qualified to hold his job when we in teh private sector would be forced out a long time ago. Double standards for the freeloading politicians on BOTH sides than us working stiffs. I hope he saved up enough sick time to be out (and paid0 for his time off.

    July 21, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. gt

    after watching c span on tv the us senate looks like a nursing home.... most need to retire ,,,there old , tired, set in the ways and intrusted to special interest groups from the right and the left....byrd is a perfect example ,,, just let it go sen, the place will go on,,,

    July 21, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. Carol

    Another GREEDY politician. Byrd should stay home. BHe's too old to be of any intelligent use to either the Senate or the public. We need intelligent young positive HONEST politicians to work for the public that elects them. We are tired of the same OLD same OLD. They are rich enough OLD politicians. They can't hear or see beyond their handlers.

    July 21, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Dee, 1 Vote

    Sen Byrd, We need your to help Pres Obama on his Health Care fight! Welcome Back!

    July 21, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. European-American

    Let's try not to see this headline again in the upcoming election.

    July 21, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. Zero.

    The Old Bird, who helped demolish the American-Eagle.
    Now I know the USA is falling apart.

    July 21, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. Rick CT

    Is he one of those awful free-spending Repubs who just want go against St. Barack?

    July 21, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. Larry

    Welcome back Senator.

    July 21, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. Peace

    Is this old man going to the senate as a hobby or to show how long he can serve the people! And how does he go there! on wheel-chair????
    The time for Byrd to retire is long overdue. 50 years plus of service, is more than enough.

    July 21, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. D. Tree

    Oh Joy.

    July 21, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. Trainer, MI

    Good, he can sign for the health bill.

    July 21, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. stormerF

    Byrd is the poster child for Term Limits... He is sick so much and if you have ever seen him in action you really have to wonder about West Virginia Voters.

    July 21, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. Rick

    time for him to retire...15 years ago

    July 21, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. Arden Muller

    Good news for a change. We need every vote we can get in order to have health care pass. We also need Sen. Kennedy.

    July 21, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. Kevin in Ohio

    He and Kennedy are the best arguments for term-limits there are.

    July 21, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. Independent Voter


    God Bless President Obama, VP Biden, the First Families and "Bo"

    July 21, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  18. S Callahan

    Welcome back Sen. Byrd...boy that was a scary time for you...but God prevails....he HAS shown you that, RIGHT?

    July 21, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    Which way did he vote on the F-22 program?

    July 21, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. Zero.

    I never watch Television these days. When Barack Obama was elected, I said to myself: Enough!! I listen to CNN and other stations.
    I can't stand his face. its bad enough reading about his lies. I don't to watrch him do it on TV.

    July 21, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Mary from Kentucky

    Welcome back Senator Byrd.I'm hope you will be a great help for President Obama,because I am sick of the GOP action like cracy people.

    July 21, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. jaye

    Welcome back Senator Byrd!!!

    July 21, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. Rick CT

    Sniffit – he voted to continue funding for the F-22

    July 21, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. Keith in Austin

    And the Senate all were served roast PORK for lunch in celebration for Byrd's return!

    July 21, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Rick

    SENATOR: Time to move on. Retire, enjoy your family. Leave the rat race behind. The next generation is more than ready to assume the mantle.

    July 21, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
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