Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is quietly preparing to ease 90-year-old Sen. Robert C. Byrd from his perch as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Democratic insiders tell Politico.
Reid has not yet discussed his plans with Byrd. But in a recent closed-door meeting with his advisers in Las Vegas and a private conversation with Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Reid has laid out a scenario that would have Inouye -- the committee's second-ranking Democrat -- taking over Byrd's chairmanship by the time the 111th Congress convenes in January.
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