The House of Representatives voted 237 to 192 Wednesday for a House-Senate compromise on financial reform. But the votes necessary for passage in the Senate aren't assured yet.
Senate Democrats hope that West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin will act quickly to replace Senator Byrd. With Byrd's death, they are two votes short of the 60 needed to move key legislation to a vote.
RUSSELL LONG - (D) of Louisiana - Dec. 31, 1948 to Jan. 3, 1987 - 38 years, 3 days: The son of a powerful Louisiana political family, Senator Long took over his father and mother’s Senate seat and helped President Lyndon Johnson push many of his “Great Society” social reforms through the Senate in the 1960s. Long is seen here in Washington, DC, in this undated file photo.
Sen. Robert Byrd, the longest serving U.S. senator in history, changed West Virginia forever. Robert Byrd was named 'West Virginian of the 20th century.'
Senator Robert Byrd (D) of West Virginia, tips his hat for reporters as he arrives at the Capitol in Washington, in this February 26, 2009 file photo. Byrd, the longest-serving member of Congress, died early June 28. Byrd, a Democrat, held his seat for more than 50 years, including six years as Senate majority leader. At the time of his death, he was third in line to the presidency.
West Virginia Democrat Robert Byrd had been in Congress since 1953. He won his ninth term to the US Senate in 2006.
It appears as if Democrats will rally enough votes in the House to pass a repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell.' The situation in the Senate is less clear, though the bill seems set to get through committee.
A White House plan released Monday would give the president more power to cut 'pork' spending. But Congress controls the federal purse strings jealously.