Byrd Gets Last Appropriation in CR

Posted September 30, 2010 at 10:37am

Among the provisions of the continuing resolution passed by the Senate Wednesday night was what may be the last appropriation ever tied to Sen. Robert Byrd (D).

The resolution provides $193,400 for the survivors of the late Senator from West Virginia, a prolific appropriator who was chairman of the Appropriations Committee from 1989 to 1995, 2001 to 2003 and 2007 to 2009. Byrd died in June at age 92.

The practice of providing death benefits to family is part of the rules of the Senate.

According to the Senate Handbook, upon the death of a Senator, “in the next appropriations bill, an item will be inserted for a gratuity to be paid to the widow(er) or other next-of-kin, in the amount of one-year’s compensation.”

The same courtesy was granted most recently to the widows of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who died of brain cancer in 2009, and Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.), who died of leukemia in 2007.