News

Former Vermont U.S. Sen. Jeffords dies at 80

Former Vermont U.S. Sen. Jeffords dies at 80

JIM JEFFORDS: In this May 24, 2001, file photo, Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont announces he will become an independent at a news conference in Burlington, Vt. Photo: Associated Press/Toby Talbot

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The former U.S. senator from Vermont who in 2001 tipped control of the Senate when he quit the Republican Party to become an independent has died. James Jeffords was 80.

Diane Derby, a former aide, says Jeffords died Monday in Washington. She said he had been in declining health.

Jeffords had announced in 2005 that he would not seek a fourth term, citing his and his wife’s health problems. His wife, Liz, died in 2007.

PHOTOS: 2014 Notable Deaths

Jeffords served more than 30 years in Washington. He won election to the House in 1974 as a Republican.

He was the only Republican in the House to vote against President Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts in 1981. A decade late, upset with President George W. Bush’s opposition to the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, Jeffords decided that was the last straw. In May of 2001, he declared he would leave the Republicans and caucus with the Democrats.

Recent Headlines

in Viral Videos

WATCH: Justin Bieber’s boxing lessons

25-overlay3

The pop star is reportedly taking boxing lessons from Floyd Mayweather ... and Conan O'Brien has the footage.

in Viral Videos

The most epic safety video ever made

23-overlay2

New Zealand knows why you want to visit, and they're playing along.

in Music, Weird

Bret Michaels doesn’t need your bank account info

bretmichaels

The Poison singer is warning fans about a bizarre new scam.

in Music

Neil Young designing his own album cover

neilyoung

To coincide with the release of his new album on Nov. 4, Young is staging his first Los Angeles art exhibition.

in Music

U2’s ‘free’ iTunes album stumbles in stores

u2

U2's controversial free album on Apple's iTunes had a less than stellar performance once released for commercial sale.