inouye taking over as chair of senate appropriations committee

It looks like Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii is going to be head of the Senate Appropriations Committee, taking over Senator Robert Byrd, who announced today that he would voluntarily give up chairmanship with the new Congress: Byrd will voluntarily give up chairmanship.

Here's Congressman Mike Honda's official statement congratulating Senator Inouye on becoming chair of the Senate Appropriations Committe:
"I congratulate Senator Inouye for his future post as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Senator Inouye is my friend and has been an outstanding leader for the state of Hawaii and the American public in the United States Senate. His experience and wisdom will guide him in his new post, as it has throughout his time in elected office and his brave service in the U.S. Army 442nd Regimental Combat Team. I look forward to working with him on appropriations matters important to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and to all Americans."
The panel, considered to be the Senate's most powerful committee, oversees hundreds of billions of dollars annually in federal spending. Byrd will officially hand off the gavel to Inouye on January 6, 2009. More here: Inouye To Take Over Senate's Most Powerful Committee.

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