Two days before his 92nd birthday, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) will be feted on the Senate floor today as the longest-serving Member of Congress.
Byrd, the longest-serving Senator and the chambers President Pro Tem, surpassed the previous record on his 20,774th day of service in Congress.
I am so deeply grateful to the people of the great State of West Virginia for demonstrating such confidence in me and enabling me to reach this momentous milestone, Byrd said in a statement.
Members will adopt a resolution honoring Byrd and deliver floor speeches to honor their colleague. Back at home, West Virginia lawmakers, Congressional staffers and Byrd supporters will mark the occasion with a state Capitol ceremony and exhibit in Byrds honor. Byrd is not expected to attend the ceremony, although he might appear on the Senate floor to offer remarks on reaching the milestone.
Byrd was elected to the state Legislature at age 30, serving three terms. In 1952, he was elected to the House, and in 1958, he was elected to the Senate. He was re-elected to the Senate eight times, most recently in 2006. Byrd never lost an election, and he made West Virginia history in 1970 when he won each of the states 55 counties.
I have strived to provide the people of West Virginia the best representation possible each of the 20,774 days which I have served in the Congress of the United States, Byrd said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.