Difference between revisions of "Max Baucus"

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Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by ''GovTrack'', Baucus was a "[[GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking|centrist Democrat]]."<ref>[http://www.govtrack.us/congress/person.xpd?id=300005 ''GovTrack'', "Max Baucus," accessed May 8, 2013]</ref>
  
 
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===National Journal vote ratings===

Revision as of 07:16, 17 April 2014

Max Baucus
Max Baucus.jpg
U.S. Ambassador to China
In office
2014-Present
PartyDemocratic
PredecessorGary Locke
Prior offices
U.S. Senator
1978-2014
U.S. Representative
1975-1978
Montana State Representative
1973-1974
Education
Bachelor'sStanford University
J.D.Stanford University
Personal
BirthdayDecember 11, 1941
Place of birthHelena, Montana
ProfessionAttorney
Net worth$182,001
ReligionUnited Church of Christ
Websites
Office website
Max Sieben Baucus (b. December 11, 1941, in Helena, Montana) is the current U.S. Ambassador to China. Baucus was confirmed by the Senate on February 6, 2014, by a vote of 96-0.[1] Baucus then resigned his seat in the U.S. Senate. He served as a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from 1978-2014, representing Montana.[2]

Biography

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.[3]

Career

Below is an abbreviated outline of Baucus' academic, professional and political career:[4]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate

2013-2014

Baucus served on the following committees before his appointment to the Ambassadorship to China:[5]

2011-2012

Baucus served on the following committees:

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

Confirmation Vote

Baucus was confirmed as the U.S. Ambassador to China on February 6, 2014, by a vote of 96-0.[1]

Max Baucus Confirmation vote, February 6, 2014
Party Votes for Approveda Votes against Defeatedd Total votes
Democratic Party Democrats 52 0 52
Republican Party Republicans 42 0 42
Independent Independents 2 0 2
Total Votes 96 0 96


Issues

Legislative actions

113th Congress

CongressLogo.png

The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1%) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14% of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[7] The Senate has confirmed 16,878 out of 19,009 executive nominations received thus far (88.8%). For more information pertaining to Baucus's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[8]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Voted "Yes" Baucus voted for the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[9]

Economy

2013 Senate Budget Proposal

Voted "No" 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.[10] 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.[10] 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.[10]

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.[10]

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.[10]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Voted "Yes" Baucus voted for H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[11]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funds the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[12] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Baucus voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[13]

Immigration

Mexico-U.S. border

Voted "No" Baucus voted against Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[14]

Healthcare

Obamacare

Baucus said if Healthcare.gov can't be fixed in a timely fashion, then Congress needs to consider delaying penalties for not having insurance. He said, "It’s not right to penalize people because of mistakes that the government has made because the exchange isn’t working. So the better approach is making sure the exchange is working so we don’t have to worry about the penalty problem." He expressed frustration with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius saying, "I’m a little, frankly, concerned and a little disappointed that earlier discussions have not been as forthcoming as I’d like them to have been. Maybe she and others didn’t know themselves — that in and of itself raises a question: Why in the world didn’t she know? That’s her job to know."[15]

Social Issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Voted "Yes" Baucus voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[16]

Background checks on gun sales

Voted "No" 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]

Previous congressional sessions

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.[20]

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.[21]

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.[22][23]

On May 16, IRS Commissioner Steven Miller announced his resignation. He still testified at the hearings the next day.[24]

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.[25]

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.[26]

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.[27] 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.[28] Lerner retired on September 23, 2013.[29]

Fundraiser for Walsh

Jon Tester and Max Baucus held a fundraiser in November 2013 for Democrat John Walsh, who will be running for Montana's U.S. Senate seat in 2014. Baucus will not be seeking re-election. The fundraiser will feature Democrat Chuck Schumer from New York. This fundraiser angered Democrat John Bohlinger, who will be challenging Walsh in the primary. He said, "I am really troubled by the involvement of the Washington insiders in a Montana Democratic senatorial primary race. They should have no business of trying to influence an outcome of an election here." Bohlinger continued to blast D.C. donors saying, "I’ll be raising money, but it will be far lesser amounts than the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (of Washington, D.C.) will pour into Walsh’s campaign fund. Mine will be money that comes from Montanans. I’m really offended by the DSCC and their interest in this (primary)."[30]

Elections

2014

See also:United States Senate elections in Montana, 2014

On April 23, 2013, Baucus announced that he would not be seeking re-election in 2014.[31] On February 6, 2014, the Senate voted 96-0 to confirm Baucus as U.S. Ambassador to China.[32] The appointment sets off a chain reaction in the Senate, as Baucus' vacancy opens up the chairmanship of the high profile Senate Finance Committee. Ron Wyden of Oregon will likely assume the chairmanship and in turn, would give up his position as chairman of the Energy Committee. Taking Wyden's spot on the Energy Committee will likely be Mary Landrieu, who is currently chairwoman of the Small Business Committee; Maria Cantwell is the favorite to fill Landrieu's position on the Small Business Committee.[32] In Montana, Democratic Governor Steve Bullock will appoint someone to finish out Baucus' term. There is speculation that Bullock will appoint Lt. Governor John Walsh, who is running for Baucus' seat in 2014.[33]

2008

On November 4, 2008, Baucus won re-election to the United States Senate. He defeated Bob Kelleher (R).[34]

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.[40]

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

2014

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Baucus' reports.[41]

Max Baucus Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[42]6/26/2013$3,594,923.91$1,572,599.80$(300,872.93)$4,866,650.78
July Quarterly[43]7/15/2013$4,866,650.78$174,305.74$(1,617,560.80)$3,423,395.72
October Quarterly[44]October 15, 2013$3,423,395.72$18,128.15$(160,575.78)$3,280,948.09
Running totals
$1,765,033.69$(2,079,009.51)

Top recipients of lobbyist contributions

On a list of Top 10 Recipients of Contributions from Lobbyists in 2013 from OpenSecrets.org, Baucus ranked 2nd on the list with $125,094 in lobbyist contributions.[45]

2010

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.[46]


Analysis

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[47]

Baucus most often voted with:

Baucus least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

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

2013

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Baucus was a "centrist Democrat."[48]

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.

2012

According to the data released in 2013, Baucus was ranked the 45th most liberal senator during 2012.[49]

2011

According to the data released in 2012, Max Baucus was ranked the 45th most liberal senator during 2011.[50]

Voting with party

2013

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.[51]

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.[52]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

2011

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 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.[53]

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, Baucus' net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $151,003 and $887,998. That averages to $519,500.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2012 of $13,566,333.90. Baucus ranked as the 81st most wealthy senator in 2012.[54]

Max Baucus Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
2012$660,508.50
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

Personal

Baucus has one son, Zeno, by his first wife, Ann Geracimos. Baucus and Geracimos divorced in 1982.[55] He was married to Wanda Minge from 1984-2009, and married Melodee Hanes in 2011.

2013 worst year

Baucus was named by The Hill as a member of Congress who had one of the worst years in 2013.[56]

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.

Max Baucus News Feed

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See also

External links


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Senate.gov, "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress - 1st Session," January 29, 2013
  2. ABC News, "Senate Approves Max Baucus as China Ambassador," February 6, 2014
  3. Great Falls Tribune "125 Montana Newsmakers: Sen. Max Baucus," Accessed October 21, 2011
  4. Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress "Baucus," Accessed June 28, 2013
  5. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 18, 2013
  6. Montana: Max Baucus, United States Senator "Max's Committee Assignments" Accessed October 21, 2011
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  8. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  9. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 New York Times "Senate Passes $3.7 Trillion Budget, Setting Up Contentious Negotiations" accessed March 25, 2013
  11. Project Vote Smart, "HR 325 - To Ensure the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government Until May 19, 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  12. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  13. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  14. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  15. Politico, "Max Baucus: Delay Obamacare penalties if website still lags," accessed November 1, 2013
  16. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 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. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013
  21. USA Today, "IRS knew of Tea Party profiling in 2011, report shows," accessed May 16, 2013
  22. Politico, "The IRS wants YOU- to share everything," accessed May 16, 2013
  23. Washington Post, "IRS officials in Washington were involved in targeting of conservative groups," accessed May 16, 2013
  24. CNN, "'Angry' Obama announces IRS leader's ouster after conservatives targeted," accessed May 16, 2013
  25. The New York Times, "Treasury Knew of I.R.S. Inquiry in 2012, Official Says," accessed May 17, 2013
  26. Politico, "Max Baucus and Orrin Hatch expand IRS probe," May 20,2013
  27. The Washington Post, "Lois Lerner invokes Fifth Amendment in House hearing on IRS targeting," May 22, 2013
  28. CBS, "IRS official Lois Lerner placed on leave," May 23, 2013
  29. Wall Street Journal, "Lois Lerner, at Center of IRS Investigation, Retires," accessed December 16, 2013
  30. Missoulian.com, "Bohlinger criticizes Baucus, Tester for early backing of Walsh in U.S. Senate race," accessed November 12, 2013
  31. The Washington Post, "Baucus to retire rather than seek re-election in 2014, strategists say," April 23, 2013
  32. 32.0 32.1 Politico, "Senate backs Max Baucus for China ambassador," February 6, 2014
  33. Politic, "W.H. to nominate Sen. Max Baucus as next ambassador to China," accessed December 19, 2013
  34. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008"
  35. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  36. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  37. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  38. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1984," accessed March 28, 2013
  39. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 1978," accessed March 28, 2013
  40. Open Secrets, "Donor history for Max Baucus" April 2013
  41. Federal Election Commission, "Baucus 2014 Summary reports," Accessed July 30, 2013
  42. FEC "April Quarterly," accessed July 30, 2013
  43. FEC "July Quarterly," accessed July 30, 2013
  44. FEC "October Quarterly," accessed October 30, 2013
  45. Open Secrets, "Top Recipients of Lobbyists Cash in 2013" Accessed July 3, 2013
  46. Open Secrets, "Max Baucus 2008 Election Cycle," Accessed October 25, 2011
  47. OpenCongress, "Max Baucus," Accessed August 8, 2013
  48. GovTrack, "Max Baucus," accessed May 8, 2013
  49. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  50. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  51. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  52. GovTrack, "Max Baucus" Accessed April 2013
  53. LegiStorm, "Max Baucus"
  54. OpenSecrets, "Baucus, (D-MT), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  55. [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
  56. The Hill, "Best, worst years in Washington," accessed January 13, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Gary Locke
U.S. Ambassador to China
2014–Present
Succeeded by
-
Preceded by
Paul G. Hatfield
United States Senate - Montana
1978–2014
Succeeded by
-
Preceded by
Richard Shoup
United States House of Representatives - District 1
1975-1978
Succeeded by
John Patrick Williams
Preceded by
'
Montana House of Representatives
1973-1974
Succeeded by
'