Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) has announced that he will not run for reelection in 2014. That means alot to Democrats, who want to keep their slim majority in the Senate.
It also means alot to Wall Street.
Baucus is the head of the Senate Finance Committee. Not to be confused with Senate Banking (that’s where Sen. Elizabeth Warren is), Senate Finance handles everything from the budget and tax policy, to trade, entitlement spending and more. Baucus, in short, has tons of power.
In terms of who should be rejoicing about Baucus’ exit, Business Insider has heard some mixed things.
“No one fought harder for the creation of SIGTARP than Senator Baucus, and he was one of the fiercest defenders of our mission and our independence,” said former TARP czar Neil Barofsky. “Without his unflinching support, we never would have been able to do the job that we did.”
On the other hand, Baucus is also known for standing up for the Bush tax cuts, and voting against the Democrats’ 2014 budget.
He’s also known for having former staffers littered all over K Street. According to the NYT, these 28 lobbyists make good money for their ability to access Baucus, and are employed by corporations ranging from McDonald’s to tobacco company, Altria.
If that doesn’t sway you in one direction or another, it’s worth knowing that the top 3 donors of Baucus’ career (he’s been in office since 1989) are financial firms according the centre for Responsive Politics site, OpenSecrets.org.
In fact, you’ll note that half of his top donors are financial firms. Here’s the top 20 breakdown:
centre for Responsive Politics, OpenSecrets.orgAccording to Washington chatter, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is the mostly replacement for Baucus. There are no financial institutions in his top five donor list. Only accounting firms Delloitte and Pricewaterhouse Cooper make it into the top 10.
Most importantly, there are no investment banks on the top 20 list at all.
From the centre of Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets.org:
centre for Responsive Politics, OpenSecrets.orgIt’s not hard to see that there could be some big changes coming if Wyden fills in for Baucus. Brace yourselves.