President Obama will nominate Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) as the next ambassador to China, according to Politico.
Baucus, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, announced his retirement this past April instead of running for reelection in a red state next year. He has served in the Senate since 1978.
The Montana Democrat has been working diligently during the past year on tax reform with House Finance Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.). He released a draft proposal on energy tax reform earlier today. If his appointment takes affect before his term is up, it will open up the powerful chairmanship earlier than expected.
However, it’s unclear when he would officially take the position and relinquish his seat. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) would appoint any replacement for Baucus; the appointed replacement would serve until the regularly scheduled election in November 2014.
The current U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke, will step down early next year. Locke was the first Chinese-American Ambassador to Beijing.
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