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Max Baucus

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Max Sieben Baucus is the senior United States Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

 and a member of the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

. First elected to the Senate in 1978, as of 2010 he is the longest-serving Senator from Montana, and the fifth longest-serving U.S. Senator in office.

As the current chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance
United States Senate Committee on Finance
The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance is a standing committee of the United States Senate. The Committee concerns itself with matters relating to taxation and other revenue measures generally, and those relating to the insular possessions; bonded debt of the United States; customs, collection...

, Baucus has played an influential role in the debate over health care reform in the United States
Health care reform in the United States
Health care reform in the United States has a long history, of which the most recent results were two federal statutes enacted in 2010: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , signed March 23, 2010, and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 , which amended the PPACA and...

. He is also chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation
United States Congress Joint Committee on Taxation
The Joint Committee on Taxation is a Committee of the U.S. Congress established under the Internal Revenue Code at .-Structure:The Joint Committee is composed of ten Members: five from the Senate Finance Committee and five from the House Ways and Means Committee.The Joint Committee is chaired on a...

, and a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
The Committee of Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry is a committee of the United States Senate empowered with legislative oversight of all matters relating to the nation's agriculture industry, farming programs, forestry and logging, and legislation relating to nutrition and...

 and Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
The United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is responsible for dealing with matters related to the environment and infrastructure.-Members, 112th Congress:...

, and is chairman of the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure
United States Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure
The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure is one of seven subcommittees of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The subcommittee's jurisdiction includes:*Transportation...

.

Before his election to the Senate, Baucus was a member of the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 from 1975 to 1978, representing Montana's (now defunct) 1st congressional district
Montana's 1st congressional district
From 1913 to 1993, Montana had two congressional districts. From 1913 to 1919, those seats were elected state-wide At-large on a general ticket. After 1919, however, the state was divided into geographical districts....

. He previously served in the Montana House of Representatives
Montana House of Representatives
The Montana House of Representatives is, with the Montana Senate, one of the two houses of the Montana Legislature. Composed of 100 members, the House elects its leadership every two years.-Composition of the House:...

 from 1973 to 1974.

On August 9, 2011, Senate Majority Leader
Party leaders of the United States Senate
The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders are two United States Senators who are elected by the party conferences that hold the majority and the minority respectively. These leaders serve as the chief Senate spokespeople for their parties and manage and schedule the legislative and executive...

 Harry Reid
Harry Reid
Harry Mason Reid is the senior United States Senator from Nevada, serving since 1987. A member of the Democratic Party, he has been the Senate Majority Leader since January 2007, having previously served as Minority Leader and Minority and Majority Whip.Previously, Reid was a member of the U.S...

 appointed Baucus to the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, colloquially referred to as the Supercommittee, is a joint select committee of the United States Congress, created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 on August 2, 2011...

.

Early life, education, and early career


Baucus was born to a wealthy ranching family in Helena, Montana
Helena, Montana
Helena is the capital city of the U.S. state of Montana and the county seat of Lewis and Clark County. The 2010 census put the population at 28,180. The local daily newspaper is the Independent Record. The Helena Brewers minor league baseball and Helena Bighorns minor league hockey team call the...

, and graduated from Helena High School in 1959. He attended Carleton College
Carleton College
Carleton College is an independent non-sectarian, coeducational, liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota, USA. The college enrolls 1,958 undergraduate students, and employs 198 full-time faculty members. In 2012 U.S...

 in Minnesota for a year before transferring to Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

, where he received a Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 degree in economics in 1964, and was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon
Sigma Alpha Epsilon
Sigma Alpha Epsilon is a North American Greek-letter social college fraternity founded at the University of Alabama on March 9, 1856. Of all existing national social fraternities today, Sigma Alpha Epsilon is the only one founded in the Antebellum South...

 fraternity. After graduating, he attended Stanford Law School
Stanford Law School
Stanford Law School is a graduate school at Stanford University located in the area known as the Silicon Valley, near Palo Alto, California in the United States. The Law School was established in 1893 when former President Benjamin Harrison joined the faculty as the first professor of law...

 and graduated with a Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor is a professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law.The degree was first awarded by Harvard University in the United States in the late 19th century and was created as a modern version of the old European doctor of law degree Juris Doctor (see etymology and...

 in 1967.

After finishing law school, Baucus spent three years as a lawyer at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 He moved back to Montana in 1971 to serve as the executive director of the state's Constitutional Convention, also opening a law office in Missoula, Montana
Missoula, Montana
Missoula is a city located in western Montana and is the county seat of Missoula County. The 2010 Census put the population of Missoula at 66,788 and the population of Missoula County at 109,299. Missoula is the principal city of the Missoula Metropolitan Area...

.

In November 1973, Baucus was elected to the Montana House of Representatives
Montana House of Representatives
The Montana House of Representatives is, with the Montana Senate, one of the two houses of the Montana Legislature. Composed of 100 members, the House elects its leadership every two years.-Composition of the House:...

 as a state representative from Missoula. In November 1974 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

, and was re-elected in 1976.

U.S. Senate tenure


Baucus was elected to the U.S. Senate on November 7, 1978 for the term beginning January 3, 1979, but was subsequently appointed to the seat by Montana's Democratic Governor Thomas Lee Judge
Thomas Lee Judge
Thomas Lee Judge was an American politician.Judge was born in Helena, Montana. He served in the Montana House of Representatives from 1961 to 1967 and in the Montana Senate from 1967 to 1969, and as Lieutenant Governor of Montana from 1969 to 1973. Judge was the 18th Governor of Montana from 1973...

 on December 15, 1978 to fill the brief vacancy created by Senator Paul G. Hatfield
Paul G. Hatfield
Paul Gerhart Hatfield, was an American politician and a member of the Democratic Party. He served briefly as United States Senator from Montana in 1978, and was later a United States federal judge.-Early life:...

's resignation. He has served consecutively ever since.

Connections to Jack Abramoff


In December 2005, following the public corruption probe of lobbyist Jack Abramoff
Jack Abramoff
Jack Abramoff is an American former lobbyist and businessman. Convicted in 2006 of mail fraud and conspiracy, he was at the heart of an extensive corruption investigation that led to the conviction of White House officials J. Steven Griles and David Safavian, U.S. Representative Bob Ney, and nine...

—who was later convicted of fraud
Fraud
In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation...

 and corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

—Baucus returned $18,892 in contributions that his office found to be connected to Abramoff. Included in the returned donations was an estimated $1,892 that was never reported for Baucus's use of Abramoff's sky box
Luxury box
A Luxury box is a special seating section located within stadiums, arenas and other sporting and entertainment venues. They are typically located in the midsection of a stadium grandstand, usually providing the best views of the event...

 at a professional sports stadium and concert venue
Verizon Center
Verizon Center is a sports and entertainment arena in Washington, D.C., USA, named after telecommunications sponsor Verizon Communications, and has been nicknamed the "Phone Booth" because of its association with telecommunications companies...

 in downtown Washington in 2001.

Recommendation of U.S. Attorney


In March 2009, Baucus recommended his live-in girlfriend and recent state director, Melodee Hanes, for the vacant position of U.S. Attorney for Montana. Baucus's romantic relationship with Hanes was discovered in December 2009, after Hanes had withdrawn her name from consideration and Michael Cotter, another of Baucus's recommendations, was selected.

Baucus withdrew the Hanes recommendation the day after he was told that a newspaper was "poised to publish a story about Hanes’s relationship with the senator and the fact that he had nominated her for the U.S. attorney job."

In December, Baucus told the Associated Press, "Mel would have been an excellent U.S. Attorney for Montana." Baucus added, "I, for one, did not want her relationship with me to disqualify her from applying for the position."

To bolster Baucus's statements, his office gave the AP a written statement that Hanes has "an extensive background as a prosecutor and extensive legal experience" along with a copy of her resume.

The resume, however, listed her only federal court experience as handling personal injury and employment discrimination cases from 1982 to 1986 as a partner in a private Iowa law firm. Hanes later received prosecutor's training in 1994 at the FBI's National Law Institute in Quantico, Va., the resume states.

Hanes attended Drake University Law School
Drake University Law School
Drake University Law School is a fully accredited law school of Drake University, located in Des Moines, Iowa. The school has over 400 full-time students. The school is presently led by Dean Allan Vestal. The most recent edition of US News and World Report's Best Law Schools ranked Drake in the...

.

Committees

  • Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
    United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
    The Committee of Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry is a committee of the United States Senate empowered with legislative oversight of all matters relating to the nation's agriculture industry, farming programs, forestry and logging, and legislation relating to nutrition and...

    • Subcommittee on Domestic and Foreign Marketing, Inspection, and Plant and Animal Health
    • Subcommittee on Production, Income Protection and Price Support
    • Subcommittee on Hunger, Nutrition and Family Farms
      United States Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Hunger, Nutrition and Family Farms
      TheU.S. Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Food and Agricultural Research is one of five subcommittees of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.-Jurisdiction:...

  • Committee on Finance
    United States Senate Committee on Finance
    The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance is a standing committee of the United States Senate. The Committee concerns itself with matters relating to taxation and other revenue measures generally, and those relating to the insular possessions; bonded debt of the United States; customs, collection...

    (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
      United States Senate Finance Subcommittee on Taxation, IRS Oversight, and Long-Term Growth
      The Senate Finance Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight is one of the six subcommittees within the Senate Committee on Finance-Members, 112th Congress:...

  • Committee on Environment and Public Works
    United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
    The United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is responsible for dealing with matters related to the environment and infrastructure.-Members, 112th Congress:...

    • Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
      United States Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
      The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety is one of seven subcommittees of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works...

    • Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health
    • Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      United States Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure is one of seven subcommittees of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The subcommittee's jurisdiction includes:*Transportation...

       (Chairman)
  • Joint Committee on Taxation
    United States Congress Joint Committee on Taxation
    The Joint Committee on Taxation is a Committee of the U.S. Congress established under the Internal Revenue Code at .-Structure:The Joint Committee is composed of ten Members: five from the Senate Finance Committee and five from the House Ways and Means Committee.The Joint Committee is chaired on a...

    (Chairman)
  • Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
    United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
    The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, colloquially referred to as the Supercommittee, is a joint select committee of the United States Congress, created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 on August 2, 2011...


Political positions


Baucus's campaign materials claim that he is a moderate
Moderate
In politics and religion, a moderate is an individual who is not extreme, partisan or radical. In recent years, political moderates has gained traction as a buzzword....

 Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 member of the Senate, occasionally breaking with his party on the issues of taxes, the environment
Environmental policy of the United States
The environmental policy of the United States is federal governmental action to regulate activities that have an environmental impact in the United States...

, and gun control
Gun politics in the United States
Gun politics in the United States refers to an ongoing political and social debate regarding both the restriction and availability of firearms within the United States. It has long been among the most controversial and intractable issues in American politics...

. The web site That's My Congress gives him a 23 percent rating on progressive issues it tracks. NARAL Pro-Choice America
NARAL Pro-Choice America
NARAL Pro-Choice America , formerly the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, then National Abortion Rights Action League, and later National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, is an organization in the United States that engages in political action to oppose...

's political action committee
Political action committee
In the United States, a political action committee, or PAC, is the name commonly given to a private group, regardless of size, organized to elect political candidates or to advance the outcome of a political issue or legislation. Legally, what constitutes a "PAC" for purposes of regulation is a...

 endorsed Baucus during his 2008 election campaign.

Civil rights


The American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

 rated Baucus at 60 percent in December 2002, indicating a mixed civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

 voting record.

Voting rights for Washington, D.C.


Baucus has voted against giving voting representation to the District of Columbia.

Freedom of speech



He voted for an anti-flag burning constitutional amendment
Constitutional amendment
A constitutional amendment is a formal change to the text of the written constitution of a nation or state.Most constitutions require that amendments cannot be enacted unless they have passed a special procedure that is more stringent than that required of ordinary legislation...

, of American flags, in 2006. He supported a bill to require online pornography sites to have a .XXX
.xxx
.xxx is a sponsored top-level domain intended as a voluntary option for pornographic sites on the Internet. The sponsoring organization is the International Foundation for Online Responsibility . The registry is operated by ICM Registry LLC. The ICANN Board voted to approve the sTLD on March 18,...

 domain, together with Senator Mark Pryor
Mark Pryor
Mark Lunsford Pryor is the senior United States Senator from Arkansas, serving since 2003. He is a member of the Democratic Party and former Attorney General of Arkansas....

 (D-Ark.
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

) He supports the death penalty.

LGBT rights


In December 2006 the Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign is the United States' largest LGBT advocacy group and lobbying organization; according to the HRC, it has more than one million members and supporters...

 rated Baucus at 67 percent. He opposes gay marriage, but voted against a proposed constitutional ban
Federal Marriage Amendment
The Federal Marriage Amendment H.J. Res. 56 was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution which would have limited marriage in the United States to unions of one man and one woman...

 on it and has supported measures to curb job discrimination and hate crimes based on sexual orientation
Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to the opposite sex, the same sex, both, or neither, and the genders that accompany them. By the convention of organized researchers, these attractions are subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality,...

.

Gun rights


In 1999, he was the only Democrat to vote against an amendment by Senator Frank Lautenberg
Frank Lautenberg
Frank Raleigh Lautenberg is the senior United States Senator from New Jersey and a member of the Democratic Party. Previously, he was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Automatic Data Processing, Inc.-Early life, career, and family:...

 (D-NJ
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

) that sought to "regulate the sale of firearms at gun shows." Baucus can be frequently found hunting and fishing on public lands around Montana.

Adoption abuse


In August 2008, Baucus' panel met to mark up bills on Improved Adoption Incentives and Relative Guardianship Support Act, the Elder Justice Act and Safety, and the Abuse Prevention Act.

Economic issues


Baucus has a 74 percent pro-business voting record as rated by the United States Chamber of Commerce
United States Chamber of Commerce
The United States Chamber of Commerce is an American lobbying group representing the interests of many businesses and trade associations. It is not an agency of the United States government....

. He twice voted to make filing bankruptcy
Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal status of an insolvent person or an organisation, that is, one that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. In most jurisdictions bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor....

 more difficult for debtors, once in July 2001 to restrict rules on personal bankruptcy
Personal bankruptcy
Personal bankruptcy is a procedure which, in certain jurisdictions, allows an individual to declare bankruptcy. In other jurisdictions, bankruptcies are reserved for corporations.-Canada:...

, and a second time in March 2005 to include means-testing and restrictions for bankruptcy filers.

He has frequently visited places of employment within the state and has personally participated in activities that he calls "Work Days". He has also hosted economic development conferences.

In March 2005, Baucus voted against repealing tax subsidies that benefit companies that outsource
Outsourcing
Outsourcing is the process of contracting a business function to someone else.-Overview:The term outsourcing is used inconsistently but usually involves the contracting out of a business function - commonly one previously performed in-house - to an external provider...

 U.S. jobs offshore. On January 4, 2007, he wrote an editorial in the Wall Street Journal calling on Democrats to renew President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

's fast-track authority for international trade deals. In response, the Montana State Senate passed a resolution, 44-6, "that the U.S. Congress be urged to create a replacement for the outdated fast track system".

Environmental issues


Baucus's environmental record is mixed. He supports Democratic leadership in voting against oil and gas subsidies and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a national wildlife refuge in northeastern Alaska, United States. It consists of in the Alaska North Slope region. It is the largest National Wildlife Refuge in the country, slightly larger than the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge...

 drilling, as well as by voting in favor of national standards to reduce oil consumption and spur the use of hydrogen-powered cars. But he has voted against the corporate average fuel economy
Corporate Average Fuel Economy
The Corporate Average Fuel Economy are regulations in the United States, first enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1975, and intended to improve the average fuel economy of cars and light trucks sold in the US in the wake of the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo...

 standards (CAFE) and on increasing federal funds for solar
Solar power
Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available...

 and wind power
Wind power
Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships....

. He was a leader in the massive Montana Legacy Project
Montana Legacy Project
The Montana Legacy Project is a three phase purchase of more than of land owned by Plum Creek Timber in northwestern Montana. The land is within the counties of Missoula, Mineral, Lake and Powell...

 conservation project.

The League of Conservation Voters
League of Conservation Voters
The League of Conservation Voters is a political advocacy organization founded in 1969 by American environmentalist David Brower in the early years of the environmental movement. LCV's mission is to "advocate for sound environmental policies and to elect pro-environmental candidates who will adopt...

 (LCV) gave Baucus a 100 percent rating, but only for the second session of the 110th Congress., but rated him at only 42 percent in December 2003.

Iraq War



Baucus voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, and has also joined the Democrats in the Senate in demanding the phased withdrawal of the Levin Amendment (no firm deadline). He voted with a majority of Democrats against Senator John Kerry
John Kerry
John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

's amendment stipulating a firm deadline for withdrawal of American combat personnel
Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq
The withdrawal of American military forces from Iraq has been a contentious issue within the United States since the beginning of the Iraq War. As the war has progressed from its initial 2003 invasion phase to a multi-year occupation, U.S. public opinion has turned in favor of troop withdrawal...

 from Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

.

On July 29, 2006, Baucus's nephew Marine
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus (September 24, 1977–July 29, 2006) was killed in combat in Al Anbar
Anbar
Anbar was a town in Iraq, at lat. 33 deg. 22' N., long. 43 deg. 49' E, on the east bank of the Euphrates, just south of the Nahr 'Isa, or Sakhlawieh canal, the northernmost of the canals connecting that river with the Tigris.-History:...

 province. Phillip Baucus, a 28-year-old resident of Wolf Creek, Montana
Wolf Creek, Montana
Wolf Creek is an unincorporated community in Lewis and Clark County, Montana, United States. Wolf Creek is located along Interstate 15 north of Helena. Wolf Creek has a post office with ZIP code 59648.- In popular culture :...

, had been a member of the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion
3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion
3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion ' is a mechanized infantry battalion of the United States Marine Corps. Their primary weapon system is the LAV-25 and they are part of the 1st Marine Division and I Marine Expeditionary Force...

, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force.
On January 10, 2007, the day of Bush's presidential address on his plan to increase troop levels
Iraq War troop surge of 2007
In the context of the Iraq War, the surge refers to United States President George W. Bush's 2007 increase in the number of American troops in order to provide security to Baghdad and Al Anbar Province....

 in Iraq, Baucus spoke against the increases and called for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Israel


Baucus is one of the Senate's largest career recipients of pro-Israel
Israel lobby in the United States
The Israel lobby is a term used to describe the diverse coalition of those who, as individuals and as groups, seek and have sought to influence the foreign policy of the United States in support of Zionism, Israel or the specific policies of its government...

 Political Action Committee
Political action committee
In the United States, a political action committee, or PAC, is the name commonly given to a private group, regardless of size, organized to elect political candidates or to advance the outcome of a political issue or legislation. Legally, what constitutes a "PAC" for purposes of regulation is a...

 (PAC) contributions, receiving $550,589 since 1989.

Vietnam


On July 14, 2009, The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

published an editorial on Baucus's attitude over Vietnam’s "tra" and "basa
Basa fish
The basa fish, Pangasius bocourti, is a type of catfish in the family Pangasiidae. Basa are native to the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam and Chao Phraya basin in Thailand. These fish are important food fish with an international market. They are often labeled in North America and Australia as "basa...

" pangasius
Pangasius
Pangasius is a genus of catfishes of the shark catfish family .-Taxonomy:In 1993, Pangasius was one of two extant genera in the family Pangasiidae. At this point, it was separated into four subgenera. Pangasius included P. gigas and P...

, saying there was no reason for America to launch a trade war
Trade war
A trade war refers to two or more states raising or creating tariffs or other trade barriers on each other in retaliation for other trade barriers...

 with Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 over fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

. "He's dead right about a trade issue now percolating in Washington," said the newspaper. The article, entitled "Max Baucus's Fish Sense - Protectionism often hurts the protectionist", outlined this controversial topic in Washington and underlined the possibility that the U.S. Department of Agriculture could effectively ban imports of pangasius fish from Vietnam, which are similar to U.S.-produced catfish
Catfish
Catfishes are a diverse group of ray-finned fish. Named for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat's whiskers, catfish range in size and behavior from the heaviest and longest, the Mekong giant catfish from Southeast Asia and the second longest, the wels catfish of Eurasia, to detritivores...

.

The ostensible reason for the move would be food safety and the USDA is considering whether Vietnamese fish should be subject to a stricter safety inspection regime. But the article said that there have been no reported cases of Vietnamese fish making American consumers sick and the proposed inspections would be onerous. It quoted Baucus as telling Congress Daily, "If we expect other countries to follow the rules and drop these restrictions, it is critical that we play by the rules and do not block imports for arbitrary or unscientific reasons."

Senate finance committee


As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Baucus called the first Senate meeting of interested parties before the committee to discuss health care reform
Health care reform in the United States
Health care reform in the United States has a long history, of which the most recent results were two federal statutes enacted in 2010: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , signed March 23, 2010, and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 , which amended the PPACA and...

, including representatives from pharmaceutical groups, insurance companies, and HMOs and hospital management companies. The meeting was controversial because it did not include representatives from groups calling for single-payer health care
Single-payer health care
Single-payer health care is medical care funded from a single insurance pool, run by the state. Under a single-payer system, universal health care for an entire population can be financed from a pool to which many parties employees, employers, and the state have contributed...

.

Opposition to single payer health care


Advocate groups attended a Senate Finance Committee meeting in May 2009 to protest their exclusion as well as statements by Baucus that "single payer was not an option on the table." Baucus later had eight protesters removed by police who arrested them for disrupting the hearing. Many of the single-payer advocates claimed it was a "pay to play
Pay to Play
Pay to play, sometimes pay for play, is a phrase used for a variety of situations in which money is exchanged for services or the privilege to engage in certain activities...

" event. A representative of the Business Roundtable
Business Roundtable
The Business Roundtable is a politically conservative group of chief executive officers of major U.S. corporations formed to promote pro-business public policy.-History:...

, which includes 35 memberships of health maintenance organization
Health maintenance organization
A health maintenance organization is an organization that provides managed care for health insurance contracts in the United States as a liaison with health care providers...

s, health insurance and pharmaceutical companies, admitted that other countries, with lower health costs, and higher quality of care, such as those with single-payer
Single-payer health care
Single-payer health care is medical care funded from a single insurance pool, run by the state. Under a single-payer system, universal health care for an entire population can be financed from a pool to which many parties employees, employers, and the state have contributed...

 systems, have a competitive advantage over the United States with its private system
Privatization
Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector to the private sector or to private non-profit organizations...

.

At the next meeting on health care reform of the Senate Finance Committee, Baucus had five more doctors and nurses removed and arrested.

Baucus admitted a few weeks later in June 2009 that it was a mistake to rule out a single payer plan because doing so alienated a large, vocal constituency and left President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

’s proposal of a public health plan
Public health insurance option
The public health insurance option is a proposed government-run health insurance agency which competes with other health insurance companies. It is not the same as Publicly-funded health care. Called the public insurance option or public option, for short, it was a proposed health insurance plan...

 to compete with private insurers as the most liberal position.

Baucus has used the term "uniquely American solution" to describe the end point of current health reform and has said that he believes America is not ready yet for any form of single payer health care. This is the same term the insurance trade association, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), is using. AHIP has launched the Campaign for an American Solution, which argues for the use of private health insurance instead of a government backed program. Critics have said that Medicare
Medicare (United States)
Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over; to those who are under 65 and are permanently physically disabled or who have a congenital physical disability; or to those who meet other...

 is already effectively a single-payer system.

Conflict of interest charges


Baucus has been criticized for his ties to the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries, and has been one of the largest beneficiaries in the Senate of campaign contributions from these industries. From 2003 to 2008, Baucus received $3,973,485 from the health sector, including $852,813 from pharmaceutical companies, $851,141 from health professionals, $784,185 from the insurance industry and $465,750 from HMOs/health services, according to the Center for Responsive Politics
Center for Responsive Politics
The Center for Responsive Politics is a non-profit, nonpartisan research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks money in politics and the effect of money and lobbying activity on elections and public policy and maintains a public online database of its information.Their database...

. A 2006 study by Public Citizen
Public Citizen
Public Citizen is a non-profit, consumer rights advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., United States, with a branch in Austin, Texas. Public Citizen was founded by Ralph Nader in 1971, headed for 26 years by Joan Claybrook, and is now headed by Robert Weissman.-Lobbying Efforts:Public Citizen...

 found that between 1999 and 2005 Baucus, along with former Senate majority leader Bill Frist
Bill Frist
William Harrison "Bill" Frist, Sr. is an American physician, businessman, and politician. He began his career as an heir and major stockholder to the for-profit hospital chain of Hospital Corporation of America. Frist later served two terms as a Republican United States Senator representing...

, took in the most special-interest money of any senator.

Only three senators have more former staffers working as lobbyists on K Street
K Street (Washington, D.C.)
K Street is a major thoroughfare in the United States capital of Washington, D.C. known as a center for numerous think tanks, lobbyists, and advocacy groups.-Location:...

, at least two dozen in Baucus's case. Several of Baucus's ex-staffers, including former chief of staff David Castagnetti, are now working for the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries. Castagnetti co-founded the lobbying firm of Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, which represents "America’s Health Insurance Plans Inc.", the national trade group of health insurance companies, the Medicare Cost Contractors Alliance, as well as Amgen
Amgen
Amgen Inc. is an international biotechnology company headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California. Located in the Conejo Valley, Amgen is the world's largest independent biotech firm. The company employs approximately 17,000 staff members. Its products include Epogen, Aranesp, Enbrel, Kineret,...

, AstraZeneca PLC and Merck & Co.
Merck & Co.
Merck & Co., Inc. , also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme or MSD outside the United States and Canada, is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. The Merck headquarters is located in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, an unincorporated area in Readington Township...

 Another former chief of staff, Jeff Forbes, went on to open his own lobbying shop and to represent the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America , founded in 1958, is a trade group representing the pharmaceutical research and biopharmaceutical companies in the United States. PhRMA's stated mission is advocacy for public policies that encourage the discovery of new medicines for patients...

 and the Advanced Medical Technology Association, among other groups.

A statistical analysis of the impact of political contributions on individual senators' support for the public insurance option conducted by Nate Silver
Nate Silver
Nathaniel Read "Nate" Silver is an American statistician, psephologist, and writer. Silver first gained public recognition for developing PECOTA, a system for forecasting the performance and career development of Major League Baseball players, which he sold to and then managed for Baseball...

 has suggested that Baucus was an unlikely supporter of the public option in the first place. Based on Baucus's political ideology and the per capita health care spending in Montana, Silver's model projects that there would be only a 30.6% probability of Baucus supporting a public insurance option even if he had received no relevant campaign contributions. Silver calculates that the impact on Baucus of the significant campaign contributions that he has received from the health care industry further reduces the probability of his supporting a public insurance option from 30.6% to 0.6%.

In response to the questions raised by the large amount of funding he took from the health care industry, Baucus declared a moratorium as of July 1, 2009 on taking more special interest money from health care political action committees. Baucus, however, declined to return as part of his moratorium any of the millions of dollars he has received from health care industry interests before July 1, 2009, or to rule out a resumption of taking the same or greater health care industry contributions in the future. Baucus's new policy on not taking health care industry money reportedly still permits him to take money from lobbyists or corporate executives, who the Washington Post found continued to make donations after July 1, 2009.

A watchdog group found that in July 2009 Baucus took more money from the health care industry in violation of the self-defined terms of his moratorium, leading Baucus to return the money.

Tax policy


Baucus voted for the Bush tax cuts
Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001
The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 , was a sweeping piece of tax legislation in the United States by President George W. Bush...

 in 2001. He has usually voted against repealing portions of that bill and against repealing more recent tax cut bills that benefit upper income taxpayers. In 2008, he voted in favor of permanently repealing the estate tax.

Ability to seek legal redress


He was one of 26 senators to vote against the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005
Class Action Fairness Act of 2005
The U.S. Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, 28 U.S.C. Sections 1332, 1453, and 1711–1715, expanded federal jurisdiction over many large class-action lawsuits and mass actions taken in the United States....

.

2002



The 2002 Montana elections got national attention when Baucus's opponent, state senator Mike Taylor, accused Baucus of having implied that Taylor was gay
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

 in a campaign ad. The ad was paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is the Democratic Hill committee for the United States Senate. It is the only organization solely dedicated to electing Democrats to the United States Senate. The DSCC's current chair is Sen. Patty Murray, who succeeded Sen. Robert Menendez following...

, not by the Baucus campaign. The ad, which alleged that Taylor had embezzled
Embezzlement
Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly appropriating or secreting assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted....

 funds from the cosmetology school he once owned, showed footage from the early 1980s of Taylor massaging another man's face while wearing a tight suit with an open shirt. Taylor dropped out of the race and Baucus won with 63 percent of the vote.

2008



Baucus sought re-election in 2008 in Montana, a state that has seen political change starting in 2004 when it elected Democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer
Brian Schweitzer
Brian David Schweitzer is an American politician from the U.S. state of Montana. Schweitzer is its 23rd and current governor, serving since January 2005. Schweitzer currently has one of the highest approval ratings among governors in the nation, with polls regularly showing a rating of above 60...

 and then Democratic Senator Jon Tester
Jon Tester
Jon Tester is the junior U.S. Senator for Montana, serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served as President of the Montana Senate.-Early life, education, and farming career:...

 in 2006 by a slim margin. Montana was the only state in the U.S. to switch a chamber of its legislature to Republican control in 2006. The legislative chamber had a one-seat Democratic majority that became a one-seat Republican majority.

Baucus raised a record amount of money for his 2008 re-election bid, 91 percent of which came from individuals living outside of Montana. Similarly, according to the Center for Responsive Politics
Center for Responsive Politics
The Center for Responsive Politics is a non-profit, nonpartisan research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks money in politics and the effect of money and lobbying activity on elections and public policy and maintains a public online database of its information.Their database...

, Baucus's 2008 campaign raised $11.6 million, only 13 percent of which came from Montana donors; the rest included millions from health care and other industries overseen by Finance and Baucus's other committees. The overwhelming ratio of special interest and out-of-state dollars to donations from Montana donors have raised questions:

So as Baucus and other lawmakers attempt to craft a bill that can smash through a virtual gridlock of interests, the awkward question lingers: To whom are they more attentive, their voting constituencies back home or the dollar constituencies who are at the Capitol every day?


As a result of Baucus's significant fund-raising advantage, in the week that he announced his intention to run for re-election, he opened eight state offices—one more than he had official offices in the state. Baucus also announced that he had hired 35 full-time campaign staff members. Baucus won re-election in 2008 by a 73-27 margin.

Electoral history



Personal


Baucus has come under fire from critics calling him a beltway insider
Inside the Beltway
"Inside the Beltway" is a phrase used to characterize parts of the real or imagined American political system. The name refers to the Capital Beltway , a circumferential highway , completed in 1964, that encircles Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States.The phrase is commonly used to...

 who no longer really lives in Montana and only occasionally comes to visit. Until 1991, Baucus owned a house in Missoula, where he practiced law for three years before running for Congress in 1974. He didn't own a home again in Montana until February 2002, when he bought half of his mother's house from the Sieben Ranch Company, the ranch started by Baucus's great-grandfather in 1897. The ranch company, and Baucus's mother, still own the other half of the house. Baucus lives in Washington, D.C.'s Capitol Hill district. As of November 2007, the Missoulian newspaper reported he owned no other property in Montana.

In April 2009, The Associated Press reported that Baucus and his second wife, the former Wanda Minge, are divorcing after 25 years of marriage and have "parted ways amicably and with mutual respect.". Starting in 2008, Senator Baucus has been romantically linked with his state office director, Melodee Hanes, whom he later nominated to the vacant position of U.S. Attorney in Montana
United States District Court for the District of Montana
The United States District Court for the District of Montana is the United States District Court whose jurisdiction is the state of Montana...

. Hanes then withdrew her nomination before the conflict of interest was discovered, because according to Baucus they wanted to be together in Washington, D.C. Both the Senator and Ms. Hanes had ended their marriages within the previous year. Senator Baucus claims he was separated from his wife before he began seeing Ms. Hanes. On January 3, 2011, Baucus' office announced that he and Ms. Hanes would be getting married.

Baucus has one son, Zeno, by his first wife, Ann Geracimos. Baucus and Geracimos divorced in 1982.

Baucus has completed a 50-mile ultramarathon
Ultramarathon
An ultramarathon is any sporting event involving running longer than the traditional marathon length of .There are two types of ultramarathon events: those that cover a specified distance, and events that take place during specified time...

 and has crewed for female winner and fellow Montana native Nikki Kimball
Nikki Kimball
Nikki Kimball is an American distance runner specializing in the Ultramarathon. She ran her first 100-mile race at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run in 2004, and was the female winner. She was the winning female at Western States again in 2005 and 2007, becoming only the third woman to win...

 at the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run
Western States Endurance Run
The Western States Endurance Run, known commonly as the Western States 100, is a 100-mile ultramarathon that takes place on trails in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains annually on the last full weekend of June. The race starts at the base of the Squaw Valley ski resort and finishes at the...

, which he hopes to run in the future.

External links