June 28, U.S. Senator Robert Byrd, who was the
longest serving member of the Congress ever, died on Monday.
Following are some of the statements on the life and career
of the 92-year-old West Virginia Democrat:
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: "He was as much a part of the
Senate as the marble busts that line its chamber and its
corridors. His profound passion for that body and its role and
responsibilities was as evident behind closed doors as it was
in the stemwinders he peppered with history. He held the
deepest respect of members of both parties, and he was generous
with his time and advice, something I appreciated greatly as a
SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL: "Senator Byrd
combined a devotion to the U.S. Constitution with a deep
learning of history to defend the interests of his state and
the traditions of the Senate. We will remember him for his
fighter's spirit, his abiding faith, and for the many times he
recalled the Senate to its purposes."
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: "A very close friend of mine, one
of my mentors, a guy who was there when I was a 29-year-old kid
being sworn into the United States Senate. Shortly thereafter,
a guy who stood in the rain, in the pouring rain, freezing rain
outside a church as I buried my daughter and my wife before I
got sworn in ... We lost the dean of the United States Senate,
but also the state of West Virginia lost its most fierce
advocate and, as I said, I lost a dear friend."
SENATOR CHRIS DODD, A DEMOCRAT: "He never stopped growing
as a public official, and was a man who learned from his
mistakes. He was more than a friend and colleague. He was a
mentor to me and literally hundreds of legislators with whom he
served over the past five decades."
HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: "Throughout his historic career
in the House and Senate, he never stopped working to improve
the lives of the people of West Virginia. While some simply
bore witness to history, Senator Byrd shaped it and strove to
build a brighter future for us all."
SENATOR ORRIN HATCH, A REPUBLICAN: "On the issues, we were
frequent opponents, but he was always gracious both in victory
and defeat. This is a man who earned his law degree while
serving in the Senate, and who had a prodigious knowledge of
ancient and modern history."
SENATOR JAY ROCKEFELLER, A DEMOCRAT: "Senator Byrd came
from humble beginnings in the southern coalfields, was raised
by hard-working West Virginians, and triumphantly rose to the
heights of power in America. But he never forgot where he came
from nor who he represented, and he never abused that power for
his own gain."
SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM, A REPUBLICAN: "Senator Byrd was a
valuable ally and worthy opponent. He will be viewed by history
as one of the giants of the Senate."