At a Glance
- Career History: U.S. Representative (1974 to 1978); Montana House of Representatives (1973 to 1974); Practicing attorney (1971 to 1974)
- Birthday: Dec. 11, 1941
- Hometown: Helena, Mont.
- Alma Mater: Stanford University, B.A., 1964; Stanford University, LL.B., 1967
- Spouse: Divorced
- Religion: Protestant
- Committees: Senate Finance Committee (chairman)
- DC Office: 511 Hart Senate Office Building, 202-224-2651
- State Office: Billings, 406-657-6790; Bozeman, 406-586-6104; Butte, 406-782-8700; Great Falls, 406-761-1574; Helena, 406-449-5480; Kalispell, 406-756-1150; Missoula, 406-329-3123
- Web site
Path to Power
Baucus was born Dec. 11, 1941, in Helena, Mont., the fifth-generation heir to a Montana ranching fortune. His great-grandfather, Henry Sieben, started the 125,000-acre Sieben ranch, featured in the film A River Runs Through It, and Sieben is in the Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Baucus received both an undergraduate economics degree and a law degree from Stanford University in 1964 and 1967, respectively. He then hitch-hiked around the world before going to work for the Civil Aeronautics Board in Washington. Baucus left that post to take a job for three years as a legal assistant at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Baucus is an unreliable Democratic vote, and his party has often been disappointed at some of his fiscal proposals. He worked with close friend Grassley to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program, but he was also a major player in the passage of President Bush's $1 trillion tax cuts in 2001 and the 2003 Medicare prescription-drug benefit, which Baucus counts as one his most notable achievements.
2009-2010 Health-Care Reform
Because of the Finance Committee's role in the health-care discussion, Baucus was a key part of Obama's effort to reform the country's health-care system.
Baucus counts Iowa's Charles E. Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Finance committee, as one of his closest friends. Both have shown a willingness to cross party lines at various points in their careers.
Though he didn't always see eye-to-eye with Tom Daschle when Daschle was the Democratic Senate leader (and often fought openly with the part leader), Baucus has always gotten along with Daschle's replacement, Harry M. Reid. Jim Messina, who is deputy White House chief of staff for President Obama, worked for Baucus for much of his career. Messina served as Baucus' chief of staff from 2005 to 2008.