Robert Byrd

(Robert Carlyle Byrd)

Robert Byrd
Robert Byrd
  • Born: November 20, 1917
  • Died: June 28, 2010
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Politician









Robert Carlyle Byrd was an American politician who served as a United States Senator from West Virginia for over 51 years, from 1959 until his death in 2010. A member of the Democratic Party, Byrd previously served as a U.S. Representative from 1953 until 1959. He is the longest-serving U.S. Senator in history. In addition, he was, at the time of his death, the longest-serving member in the history of the United States Congress, a record later surpassed by Representative John Dingell of Michigan. Byrd was the last remaining member of the U.S. Senate to have served during the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower, and the last remaining member of Congress to have served during the presidency of Harry S. Truman. Byrd is also the only West Virginian to have served in both chambers of the state legislature and both chambers of Congress.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Quote Topics Cited
[Referring to immigrants:] They're all over the place, and they don't speak English. Do we want more of this? Immigration & Emigration
A senator should be held to a higher standard than Joe Six-Pack. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
A superpower does not have to be the bully on the block. Power
Attempting to control inflation or protect the dollar by throwing legions of people out of work and shutting down shifts in our factories and mines is a hopeless policy. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
Congress is not an ATM Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Congress is not an ATM Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Do not run a campaign that would embarrass your mother. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Eliminating the filibuster would eliminate the people’s voices in the Senate. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I am loyal to my country and know but reverence to her flag. But I shall never submit to fight beneath that banner with a negro at my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt, never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels … Discrimination & Prejudice
I'm the President's friend, I'm not the President's man. Intergovernmental Relations
In this Congress, we are not obliged to be bound by the dead hand of the past Congress Legislating & Legislative Process
It was my greatest mistake. I will wear it as an albatross around my neck. In my obituary it will always be mentioned that I was a member of the KKK. Miscellaneous
Most people revere the Constitution but they do not know what is in it. That may be true of many members of Congress. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
Never have I seen such a monstrous piece of legislation. Without a single committee hearing we are being asked to vote on that 484 pages. They think we will all go along with it. I read in the paper that nobody will have the courage to vote against it. Well, Robert Byrd is going to vote against it because I don't know what I am voting for. Legislating & Legislative Process
None of us is pure or without flaw, but when those flaws damage the institution of the Senate, it is time to have the grace to go. But Senator [Robert W.] Packwood has chosen to do the opposite. He has chosen to stay in spite of the continuing damage he is doing. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Not all special interest groups are bad. Lobbying & Special Interests
One cannot be independent of the deep thinking of the people. Public Opinion & Polling
One has to be available, very much available, and ready to protect the interests of his colleagues. Legislating & Legislative Process
One must be especially wary of an Administration that seems to feel that what it judges to be a good end, always justifies any means. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
Potholes know no party. Public Works & Natural Resources
Spending for congressional campaigns is getting to be like the arms race. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The easiest votes I ever cast were the votes to cut taxes. The hardest votes I had to cast were to raise taxes. Taxes
The filibuster has only been around for 2564 years. Legislating & Legislative Process
The filibuster is the most important check on raw Presidential power. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The involvement of the government in military adventures always results in the expansion, at least temporarily, of Presidential power. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
The power of the purse is the only real power of government. Budgets & Budgeting
The Senate is rushing to vote on whether to declare war on Iraq without pausing to ask why. Why is war being dealt with not as a last resort but as a first resort? War & Peace
The trashing and trampling of comity leaves ugly scars that are sure to fester and linger. Political Parties & Machines
To remove or not to remove? That is the question. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
We can’t even project [budget surpluses and deficits] accurately month-to-month, much less for an entire year. Budgets & Budgeting
We cannot continue to claim that we are a nation of laws and not of men if our laws and, indeed, even the Constitution of the United States itself, may be summarily breached because of some determination of expediency or because the President says “trust me.” Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
We must not allow any president to unleash the dogs of war at his own discretion and for an unlimited period of time. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
We want to respond quickly to urgent needs, but a speedy response should not be used as an excuse to trample full and free debate. Legislating & Legislative Process
What these peckerwoods call pork is infrastructure. Patronage & Pork Barrel
Why can we find emergency funds for every other country? Why can't we find emergency funds for our own country? Foreign Aid ;Budgets & Budgeting
Without economic security, we cannot have national security. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
And the president is all wrong when he maintains that a nominee should have an up-or-down vote. The Constitution doesn't say that. The Constitution doesn't say that that nominee shall have any vote at all. There doesn't have to even be a vote.
Congress is not an ATM.
Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality; he recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side. Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
I have been in Congress for more than a half century. I have lived through times of fear and times of hope. Of despair and of achievement. I have seen our government at its best, but today I fear that we see our government at its worst. Hope
I have never seen such extreme partisanship, such bitter partisanship, and such forgetfulness of the fate of our fathers and of the Constitution.
Is it any wonder, why the approval ratings of the Congress go up every time we go into recess? Time
It is money, money, money! Not ideas, not principles, but money that reigns supreme in American politics. Money, Coins & Minting ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
It is the Constitution of the United States that has been undermined, undercut, and is under attack. It is the American people's liberties that is in jeopardy. That is why I wrote 'Losing America.'
It was the separation of powers upon which the framers placed their hopes for the preservation of the people's liberties. Despite this heritage, the congress has been in too many cases more than willing to walk away from its constitutional powers.
Mission accomplished? The mission in Iraq, as laid out by President Bush and Vice President Cheney, has failed.
One's family is the most important thing in life. I look at it this way: One of these days I'll be over in a hospital somewhere with four walls around me. And the only people who'll be with me will be my family. Life ;Families, Children & Parenting
Our ideals of freedom, set forth and realized in our Constitution, are our greatest export to the world. Freedom & Liberty
People on welfare are fornicating deadbeats Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;Welfare
That's what the Senate is about. It's the last bastion of minority rights, where a minority can be heard, where a minority can stand on its feet, one individual if necessary, and speak until he falls into the dust.
The money the president wants to borrow for Iraq will come directly out of the American taxpayer wallets in the form of Medicare and Social Security receipts. That's your money. Money, Coins & Minting
The ongoing strife in Iraq, and the billions of dollars that the President is seeking to continue that war, give me little comfort that this Administration has learned from its mistakes in Iraq. War & Peace
This war is not necessary. We are truly sleepwalking through history. History ;War & Peace
To contemplate war is to think about the most horrible of human experiences. War & Peace
To the American people I say, awaken to what is happening. It is the duty of each citizen to be vigilant, to protect liberty, to speak out, left and right and disagree lest be trampled underfoot by misguided zealotry and extreme partisanship.
We, unlike Nazi Germany or Mussolini's Italy, have never stopped being a nation of laws, not of men. But witness how men with motives and a majority can manipulate law to cruel and unjust ends.