Byrd, Back on the Hill, Votes on Losing End of F-22 Fight

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), out for more than two months after suffering a series of infections, was back on Capitol Hill Tuesday to cast a vote in favor of continuing production of the F-22 fighter jet.

The 91-year-old, along with 39 others, lost the vote. But in a statement issued by his office, he said it was “wonderful to be back.”

Of note, Byrd’s presence must have been a reassuring sight for Democratic leaders, who have a tough health care fight ahead of them this year. The final Senate bill has yet to be finalized, but there aren’t too many people in town who think the vote will be anything other than excruciatingly close.

Byrd’s statement says the senator is “expected to ease back into his duties,” with an eye on controversial votes like that on health reform and climate change.

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