Sen. Robert Byrd, 'Losing America' The Democratic senator from West Virginia has served in Congress for 51 years, 45 of them as a senator. Byrd is ranking minority member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and has twice been president pro tempore of the Senate. He is also a former majority leader. Byrd is author of a new book called Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency. Byrd is a vocal opponent of the Iraq war and has criticized the most of the Bush Administration's post-Sept. 11 policies. He is also author of a four-volume history of the Senate.