Byrd triggers committee succession in Senate
Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., said Friday he is stepping down from his powerful post as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Byrd, 90, is the longest serving senator in U.S. history.
Sen. Daniel Inouye, 84 of Hawaii was named by Majority Leader Harry Reid to replace Byrd as head of the committee in charge of reviewing all spending bills.
Inouye, in turn, will give up his chairmanship of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., is considered next in line to replace Inouye, but has not made an announcement if he will take that post.
In the House, Rep. Henry Waxman is challenging John Dingle for the chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which could lead to a divisive fight in the Democratic caucus. ' Eric Kulisch