Congratulations to the Senate's living legend, Robert Byrd.
He is wheelchair-bound and has spent long periods over the past two years in the hospital. But at midnight, the Democratic senator will tie the record of Sen. Carl Hayden as the longest-serving member of Congress ever at 56 years and 319 days.
Byrd is already the longest-serving member of the Senate – he took that crown three years and 7 months ago from Sen. Strom Thurmond.
But today he will tie Hayden’s record for combined House and Senate service.
Byrd served in the House from 1953 through 1959.
Hayden spent 42 years in the Senate from 1927 through 1969, and 15 in the House from 1912 until 1927.
We’ll keep an eye out for Byrd on the floor today in case senators give him a harrumph. We last saw the senior senator speak on the Senate floor on Oct. 27 at 2:20pm.
Regardless of this latest milestone, Byrd will have to stay fit to protect his new record from the young bucks at his heels.
Sen. Daniel Inouye, who took over for Byrd as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee earlier this year, recently surpassed Sen. Edward Kennedy, who died in August, as the third longest-serving Senator ever.
He’ll overtake Thurmond as the second longest-serving senator next year. In the House of Representatives, Rep. John Dingell, rings in with 53 years and 339 days of service. Dingell became the longest serving Member of Congress this year .