Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) on Monday will replace the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) as President Pro Tem, a position that puts him third in succession to the presidency.
The President Pro Tem is technically the highest-ranking Senator — either he or his designate presides over the chamber while it is in session. In practice, however, the position is little more than a ceremonial title given to the longest-serving Member of the majority party.
Inouye, 85, will be named President Pro Tem when the Senate comes into session at 2 p.m. Monday, aides said. The resolution is expected to pass by unanimous consent.