The Washington Post

Max Baucus confirmed as U.S. ambassador to China

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) will serve as the next U.S. ambassador to China after his colleagues confirmed him Thursday for the critical diplomatic position.


Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.). (Washington Post)

Senators voted 96 to 0 to confirm Baucus; he voted "present." He replaces Gary Locke, who is stepping down to return to Washington state to be with his family.

Baucus had already announced plans not to seek reelection when President Obama tapped him in December for the new role. The appointment will allow Montana's Democratic governor to choose a new senator. It is widely assumed that Baucus's successor would run for the seat in November as an incumbent, with the hope of helping Democrats hold on to a narrow majority in the Senate.

As chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, Baucus played a key role in crafting Obama's health-care law and was among the first Democrats to publicly fret about the law's implementation -- worries that later turned out to be well-founded.

Baucus’s impending departure will set off a round of musical chairs among Senate committee chairmen.  Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is expected to assume control of the finance panel, a move that likely will lead to Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.) taking the top spot on the Senate Energy Committee.

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
New Hampshire has voted. The Democrats debate Thursday. Get caught up on the race.
The big questions after New Hampshire, from The Post's Dan Balz
Can Bernie Sanders cut into Hillary Clinton's strength in the minority community and turn his challenge into a genuine threat? And can any of the Republicans consolidate anti-Trump sentiment in the party in time to stop the billionaire developer and reality-TV star, whose unorthodox, nationalistic campaign has shaken the foundations of American politics?
Clinton in New Hampshire: 2008 vs. 2015
Hillary Clinton did about as well in N.H. this year as she did in 2008, percentage-wise. In the state's main counties, Clinton performed on average only about two percentage points worse than she did eight years ago (according to vote totals as of Wednesday morning) -- and in five of the 10 counties, she did as well or better.
What happened in New Hampshire
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
What happened in N.H.
Most Read

politics

post-politics

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.