Difference between revisions of "Max Baucus"

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|Name = Max Baucus
|Name = Max Baucus
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Revision as of 12:59, 8 July 2013

Max Baucus
Max Baucus.jpg
U.S. Senate, Montana
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 37
PredecessorPaul Hatfield (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Next general November 4,2014
Campaign $$6,719,728
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives
Montana House of Representatives
Bachelor'sStanford University
J.D.Stanford University
Date of birthDecember 11, 1941
Place of birthHelena, Montana
Net worth$182,001
ReligionUnited Church of Christ
Office website
Max Sieben Baucus (b. December 11, 1941) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Montana. Baucus was first elected to the Senate in 1978.

On April 23, 2013, Baucus announced that he would not be seeking reelection in 2014.[1]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Baucus is a more moderate left of center Democratic Party vote. As a result, he may break with the Democratic Party line more than his fellow members.


Baucus was born in Helena, Montana. He attended Carleton College in Minnesota for a year before transferring to Stanford University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in 1964. After earning his undergraduate degree, he attended Stanford Law School, graduating with a Juris Doctor in 1967.[2]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Baucus's academic, professional and political career:[3]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Baucus serves on the following committees[4]:


Baucus currently serves on the following committees:

  • United States Senate Committee on Finance (Chairman)
    • As Chairman of the full committee, Sen. Baucus may serve as an ex-officio member of all subcommittees of which he is not already a full member.
    • Subcommittee on Taxation, IRS Oversight, and Long-term Growth


IRS targeting

On May 10, 2013, news broke that various branches of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had specifically targeted conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status. This began during the tea party surge in 2010. The agency was separating tax-exempt applications by searching for political terms such as "tea party" and "patriot." In June 2011, an IRS official was briefed on these transgressions and asked that this practice end. The flagging continued, however, when the criteria was changed in January 2012 to look out for groups educating on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.[6]

The targeting included allegations that tea party groups were forced to provide information not asked of other tax exempt groups. Examples of this included requests for donor information, Facebook posts, resumes and political intentions of group officials and connections to other groups.[7][8]

On May 16, IRS Commissioner Steven Miller announced his resignation. He still testified at the hearings the next day.[9]

As a result of this scandal, Republicans and many Democratic members of Congress, including Baucus, publicly called for a deeper investigation into these matters. The House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on May 17 during which it was disclosed that the Obama administration was made aware of the targeting on June 4, 2012.[10]

On May 20, Senators Max Baucus and Orrin Hatch sent a written inquiry regarding the process for how the agency reviewed applications for tax exempt status. The letter also requested any correspondence between White House officials and the IRS mentioning 501(c) organizations.[11]

During the May 22 House committee hearing on the issue, Lois Lerner, head of the IRS tax-exempt organizations office, declined to answer questions citing her Fifth Amendment right.[12] The next day, May 23, Lerner was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation after Senators John McCain and Carl Levin called on IRS officials to place her on suspension.[13] Lerner retired on September 23, 2013.[14]

Specific votes

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Baucus voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89/8 vote on January 1, 2013.[15]

2013 Senate Budget Proposal

Nay3.png On March 23, after an all-night debate that ended just before 5 a.m., by a 50 to 49 vote the Democratically controlled Senate approved its first budget in four years.[16] No Republicans voted for the Senate plan, and four Democrats opposed it. All four are from red states and are up for re-election in 2014.[16] Baucus was one of the four Democrats who voted against the budget proposal.

The approved plan is a $3.7 trillion budget for 2014 and would provide a fast track for passage of tax increases, trim spending modestly and leave the government still deeply in the red for the next decade.[16]

The approval of a budget in the Senate began the process of setting up contentious, and potentially fruitless, negotiations with the Republican-controlled House starting in April to reconcile two vastly different plans for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems.

The House plan brought the government’s taxes and spending into balance by 2023 with cuts to domestic spending even below the levels of automatic across-the-board cuts for federal programs, and it ordered up dramatic and controversial changes to Medicare and the tax code.[16]

The Senate plan differed greatly, and included $100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to bolster the economy and calls for special fast-track rules to overhaul the tax code and raise $975 billion over 10 years in legislation that could not be filibustered. Even with that tax increase and prescribed spending cuts, the plan approved by the Senate would have left the government with a $566 billion annual deficit in 10 years, and $5.2 trillion in additional debt over that window.[16]

Expanded background checks on gun sales

Nay3.png On April 17, 2013, the U.S. Senate took a vote on and defeated a measure that would have expanded federal background checks for firearms purchases.[17] The vote was 54-46, with supporters falling six votes short of the required 60-vote threshold.[18] Baucus was one of the 4 Democratic Senators who voted against the amendment.[19]



On November 4, 2008, Baucus won re-election to the United States Senate. He defeated Bob Kelleher (R).[20]

U.S. Senate, Montana General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMax Baucus Incumbent 72.9% 348,289
     Republican Bob Kelleher 27.1% 129,369
Total Votes 477,658

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Baucus is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Baucus raised a total of $6,719,728 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 24, 2013.[26]

Max Baucus's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2002 U.S. Senate (Montana) Won $6,719,728
Grand Total Raised $6,719,728


Top recipients of lobbyist contributions

On a list of Top 10 Recipients of Contributions from Lobbyists in 2013 from Open Secrets, Baucus ranked 2nd on the list with $125,094 in lobbyist contributions.[27]


Breakdown of the source of Baucus's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Baucus won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. During that re-election cycle, Baucus's campaign committee raised a total of $11,602,479 and spent $9,305,359.[28]


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking


Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Baucus is a "centrist Democrat".[29]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year, National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.


According to the data released in 2013, Baucus was ranked the 45th most liberal senator during 2012.[30]


According to the data released in 2012, Max Baucus was ranked the 45th most liberal senator during 2011.[31]

Voting with party


Max Baucus voted with the Democratic Party 77.8% of the time, which ranked 50th among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[32]

Lifetime missed votes

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Baucus missed 276 of 12,209 roll call votes from Feb 1979 to Apr 2013, which is 2.3% of votes during that period. This is worse than the median of 1.7% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving.[33]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives


The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Baucus paid his congressional staff a total of $2,616,259 in 2011. He ranked 19th on the list of the lowest paid Democratic Senatorial Staff Salaries and he ranked 54th overall of the lowest paid Senatorial Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Montana ranked 28th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[34]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org - The Center for Responsive Politics, Baucus's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between -$82,996 and $446,998. That averages to $182,001, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Senators in 2011 of $20,795,450. His average net worth increased by 114% from 2010.[35]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org - The Center for Responsive Politics, Baucus' net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $10,010 and $160,000. That averages to $85,005, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Senators in 2010 of $19,383,524.[36]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Max + Baucus + Montana + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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Baucus has one son, Zeno, by his first wife, Ann Geracimos. Baucus and Geracimos divorced in 1982.[37] He was married to Wanda Minge from 1984-2009, and married Melodee Hanes in 2011.

External links


  1. The Washington Post, "Baucus to retire rather than seek re-election in 2014, strategists say", April 23, 2013
  2. Great Falls Tribune "125 Montana Newsmakers: Sen. Max Baucus," Accessed October 21, 2011
  3. Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress "Baucus," Accessed June 28, 2013
  4. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 18, 2013
  5. Montana: Max Baucus, United States Senator "Max's Committee Assignments" Accessed October 21, 2011
  6. USA Today, "IRS knew of Tea Party profiling in 2011, report shows," accessed May 16, 2013
  7. Politico, "The IRS wants YOU- to share everything," accessed May 16, 2013
  8. Washington Post, "IRS officials in Washington were involved in targeting of conservative groups," accessed May 16, 2013
  9. CNN, "'Angry' Obama announces IRS leader's ouster after conservatives targeted," accessed May 16, 2013
  10. The New York Times, "Treasury Knew of I.R.S. Inquiry in 2012, Official Says," accessed May 17, 2013
  11. Politico, "Max Baucus and Orrin Hatch expand IRS probe," May 20,2013
  12. The Washington Post, "Lois Lerner invokes Fifth Amendment in House hearing on IRS targeting," May 22, 2013
  13. CBS, "IRS official Lois Lerner placed on leave," May 23, 2013
  14. Wall Street Journal, "Lois Lerner, at Center of IRS Investigation, Retires," accessed December 16, 2013
  15. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 New York Times "Senate Passes $3.7 Trillion Budget, Setting Up Contentious Negotiations" accessed March 25, 2013
  17. NPR, "Senate Rejects Expanded Background Checks For Gun Sales," accessed April 19, 2013
  18. Fox News, "Background check plan defeated in Senate, Obama rips gun bill opponents," accessed April 19, 2013
  19. NPR, "Historically Speaking, No Surprise In Senate Gun Control Vote," accessed April 19, 2013
  20. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  21. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  22. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  23. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  24. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1984," accessed March 28, 2013
  25. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 1978," accessed March 28, 2013
  26. Open Secrets "Donor history for Max Baucus" April 2013
  27. Open Secrets "Top Recipients of Lobbyists Cash in 2013" Accessed July 3, 2013
  28. Open Secrets "Max Baucus 2008 Election Cycle," Accessed October 25, 2011
  29. Gov Track "Max Baucus," Accessed May 8, 2013
  30. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  31. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  32. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  33. GovTrack, "Max Baucus" Accessed April 2013
  34. LegiStorm "Max Baucus"
  35. OpenSecrets.org, "Max Baucus (D-Mont), 2011"
  36. OpenSecrets.org, "Baucus, (D-Montana), 2010"
  37. [http://www.billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_797c1df4-5414-59db-9bfd-d27f2ebd7f3b.html Billings Gazette "New Baucus divorce report emerges," Accessed October 21, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Paul G. Hatfield
United States Senate - Montana
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Richard Shoup
United States House of Representatives - District 1
Succeeded by
John Patrick Williams
Preceded by
Montana House of Representatives
Succeeded by