Byrd hasn’t dropped yet, but his age is clearly catching up with him. He has missed the most votes, 42 percent, of any sitting senator this Congress, going away for long spells in the hospital for “infections” and other ailments. And his public speeches have become the laughing stock of Senate aides, who flock to televisions whenever he appears, calling it “Byrd watching.”
Dingell, despite recently announcing he will seek reelection, does not look well, either. At a recent press conference announcing an environmental bill, Dingell struggled to stand up from his seat. After ditching his crutches to grip the lectern, he mumbled unintelligibly for five minutes as colleagues looked on uncomfortably. He gets around the Capitol on a motorized scooter. (Others, who have met with him recently, say he is doing well).
Luckily for Byrd and Dingell, working in Congress is akin to an “assisted living community” these days — they enjoy plenty of company.