In the tenth of fourteen speeches opposing the line-item veto, Senator Byrd continued to trace the downfall of the Roman Republic and Senate through a series of civil wars. Sulla, Rome’s first
permanent dictator diluted the senators' and tribunes' power and this process continued as the Senate tried to choose sides among the power brokers waiting for the next civil war. In 60 B.C., Crassus, Pompey, and Julius Caesar agreed to share power in Rome. Thus the Senate had abdicated its duty to defend the Republic as it cowered before these ambitious men who controlled their own personal armies.