Max Baucus

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I'm No 'Expert on China,' Says Our Next Ambassador

Max Baucus makes odd statement during confirmation hearing

(Newser) - Retiring Sen. Max Baucus said all things you'd expect him to say during his Senate confirmation hearing to be the next ambassador to China—he talked of trade, computer breaches, human rights, and "important bilateral relationships," reports Bloomberg . But he also said one thing you most definitely... More »

Obama to Tap Montana's Baucus as Next China Envoy

Move takes ObamaCare critic off the scene

(Newser) - Max Baucus is set to go from being a senator serving the 1 million people of Montana to ambassador representing America to the 1.3 billion people of China. The Democrat, chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, is President Obama's pick to replace Gary Locke and officials say... More »

'Pacemaker Tax' at Heart of Shutdown Battle

Unpopular tax may be dropped as part of deal

(Newser) - A tax on medical devices has taken center stage in the Washington shutdown battle , Politico finds. The 2.3% tax that critics have dubbed the "pacemaker tax" is opposed even by many Democrats, and House Republicans say they would consider a deal that would drop the delay to ObamaCare... More »

What Writeoffs Might Die in Senate's Tax Code Overhaul

Max Baucus and Orrin Hatch trying 'blank slate' approach

(Newser) - Don't look now, but the Senate is sort of rewriting the entire tax code. Max Baucus and Orrin Hatch are trying an ambitious "blank slate" approach to the code, throwing out every tax provision and putting the onus on their supporters to justify their continued existence—and they... More »

Max Baucus to Retire: Report

Powerful Democrat chairs Finance committee

(Newser) - A powerful Senate Democrat is headed for greener pastures, according to a new report from the Washington Post . Max Baucus, the Montana moderate who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, doesn't intend to seek re-election in 2014, strategists tell the paper. Other outlets, including the AP , are now reporting the... More »

Senate Panel OKs Jack Lew

Treasury nominee now heads to full Senate

(Newser) - The Senate Finance Committee has given Jack Lew its stamp of approval, pushing forward his semi-contentious nomination as secretary of the Treasury by a 19-5 vote, reports Politico . Max Baucus, the panel's Democrat chairman, said ahead of the vote that Lew had answered all questions "in a thorough... More »

Super Committee Gives Up

Democrats, Republicans can't bridge budget differences

(Newser) - The bipartisan leadership of a special congressional deficit super committee officially announced today that the panel failed to reach an agreement. Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling say that despite "intense deliberations" the members of the panel have been unable "to bridge the committee's... More »

If Supercommittee Fails, What Happens? Nothing

And failure is looking exceedingly likely

(Newser) - There’s a reason Capitol Hill isn’t in panic mode ahead of the supercommittee’s dreaded Nov. 23 deadline: because nothing will actually happen in the now-likely event that the committee fails. Turns out those massive spending cuts that supposedly serve as a sword of Damocles for lawmakers don’... More »

Patty Murray Will Co-Chair Debt 'Super Committee'

Harry Reid's other picks for panel are John Kerry and Max Baucus

(Newser) - Three down, nine to go. Harry Reid made his three picks for the bipartisan "super committee" that will try to come up with $1.2 trillion of cuts in about 3 months. Reid picked Patty Murray, who will serve as co-chair with a yet-to-be-named Republican, along with John Kerry... More »

Threats Against Lawmakers Hit New High in 2010

Emotions ran high during health reform debate

(Newser) - As the health reform debate reached a fever pitch last year, so too did the threats against lawmakers. The FBI investigated at least 26 threats last year, according to documents obtained by the Hill, a significant upswing from the previous year, and more than any other year on record. Nearly... More »

Sen. Kyl: Jobless Benefits a 'Disincentive' to Find Work

If people are getting aid, they won't look for new job, he says

(Newser) - Federal unemployment benefits that expired over the weekend because of Republican objections in the Senate should maybe stay that way, says Sen. Jon Kyl, the minority whip. They don't “create new jobs,” he argues. “If anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them... More »

Feds Further Link Avandia to Heart Risk

FDA, Senate reports lambaste GlaxoSmithKline, want to yank drug

(Newser) - Some 800 people every month suffer heart attacks or heart failure because of the diabetes medication Avandia, according to government reports obtained by the New York Times . Under fire since 2007, the GlaxoSmithKline drug was linked to 304 deaths in the final quarter of last year and hundreds of thousands... More »

Hours Later, Reid Kills New Jobs Bill

Says Baucus measure gives too much ground in trying for GOP votes

(Newser) - Just hours after Max Baucus unveiled an $87 billion jobs bill that had the support of two Republicans on his Senate Finance Committee, Majority Leader Harry Reid shot it down, saying the measure bent over backward to score GOP support, and went beyond the goal of creating jobs. More »

Senate Unveils $87B Jobs Bill

But vote will have to wait because of snow

(Newser) - Senate Democrats revealed their long-awaited $87 billion jobs bill today, but thanks to the snow, lawmakers may not get around to voting on it for a while. The bill calls for a combination of tax breaks for businesses and construction projects to boost employment, and has the support of two... More »

Health Bill Passage a Tribute to Ted Kennedy

'Liberal lion' invoked by both left and right, but what would he think?

(Newser) - The memory of Ted Kennedy was a vivid presence today on both sides of the aisle as the Senate passed its version of his signature issue, health care reform. The late Massachusetts senator “remained the Democrats' spiritual floor leader,” Dana Milbank writes in the Washington Post , and almost... More »

Health Bill Clears Last Hurdle Before Vote

Party line roll call ends filibuster, sets stage for tomorrow

(Newser) - Exultant Senate Democrats pushed President Obama's landmark health care overhaul past a final procedural hurdle today, setting up a final vote at 7am tomorrow to pass the legislation. Democrats voted 60-39 to end a GOP filibuster, with all 58 Democrats and two independents hanging together against unanimous Republican opposition. Tomorrow's... More »

Bachmann Farm Reaped $252K in Gov't Subsidies

Free-market fan is a closet welfare queen, writes Yasha Levine

(Newser) - Rep. Michelle Bachmann is one of the Capitol's most vocal opponents of socialized medicine—but she's happy to take government handouts for socialized dairy and corn, writes Yasha Levine. Records show that the Minnesota Republican's family farm raked in almost $252,000 in agricultural subsidies between 1995 and 2006, Levine... More »

Baucus Gave Galpal Melodee Hanes a $14K Raise

Senator also took her on taxpayer-funded trip abroad

(Newser) - Sleeping with the boss has its benefits, including, in the case of Max Baucus staffer Melodee Hanes, an almost $14,000 raise. Baucus gave his favorite staffer that little pay adjustment while he was romantically involved with her in 2008, Politico reports. He also took her on a taxpayer-funded trip... More »

Be Like Baucus, Tiger: A Dork

Senator could teach Woods how to survive a sex scandal

(Newser) - Tiger Woods clearly needs some advice on dealing with a sex scandal, and Sen. Max Baucus is just the man to set him straight. The gentleman from Montana doesn’t have a scratch on him after the recent revelations about his sex life—that he slept with a staffer and... More »

Medicare Buy-In May Replace Public Option

Reid tells Democrats to find compromise by tonight

(Newser) - Senate Democrats trying to hammer out a compromise on health care reform are considering ditching the bill's public option in favor of expanding the public options that already exist. People over 55 will be able to buy into the Medicare program and Medicaid will be expanded under the proposals being... More »

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