Dianne Feinstein pays tribute to Robert Byrd

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U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) asks a question during a hearing before the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee May 20, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Robert Byrd, the longest-serving U.S. senator in history, died today at a hospital in Virginia. The Democrat from West Virginia was 92 years old and had been in frail health for several years. In more than 50 years in the upper house of Congress, Byrd cast more votes than any other Senator.

California’s senior Senator Dianne Feinstein served 16 years on the appropriations committee chaired by Byrd.

Senator Feinstein paid tribute to her late colleague. She said, "he was tough. He was strong. He cared. Many times the Constitution popped out of his vest pocket. He certainly – I think in anyone’s book – a titan in the Senate. And he has left an indelible imprint. He will be missed."

Feinstein made her remarks during the confirmation hearing for Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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