Death of Inouye leaves Leahy in top spot - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Death of Inouye leaves Leahy in top spot

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U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye/AP U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye/AP

U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), the longest serving senator, has died. The Development means Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) takes over the job of President Pro Tem of the Senate, putting him third in the line of presidential succession, behind House Speaker John Boehner.

Inouye's death also puts Leahy in line to be the chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee that controls the nation's purse strings.

Inouye, a decorated World War II hero, was 88. According to his office, "His last words were, 'Aloha.'" Inouye had been hospitalized since early December due to respiratory problems.

Inouye was first elected to the Senate in 1962, after three years in the House. He served in Congress throughout Hawaii's time as a state.

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