(Washington, D.C) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, released the following statement after Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) announced that he would be stepping down as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Senator Murray and Chairman Byrd have served together on the Appropriations Committee for 16 years.

“It has been, and continues to be, a great honor to serve with Chairman Byrd.  His leadership on the Appropriations Committee has been marked with great successes and major progress for our nation.  Thanks to his leadership on everything from homeland security to transportation to education and health care, America is a better, safer place. 

“Senator Byrd taught me, from my very first day in the Senate, that no one person is bigger or more important that the Senate as a whole.  Senator Byrd has always put the Constitution and the Senate ahead of himself.  Today is just one more example of that legendary affection for the Senate. 

“I continue to be thankful to count Senator Byrd as a friend and mentor, the people of West Virginia are lucky to have him as their Senator, and all Americans should be grateful for his extraordinary  service.  I look forward to continuing to work with him to advance our many shared priorities in the new Congress.”