Montana Politics

Jan 8, 2014 8:35 PM by MTN News

Baucus officially nominated as U.S. Ambassador to China

GREAT FALLS - President Obama officially nominated U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) to be the next U.S. ambassador to China.

Next, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on his appointment.

A spokesman for that committee tells us that wouldn't happen until at least after a Senate recess which is scheduled for the week of January 20.

If the committee approves the nomination, it would go then to the full Senate, which is expected to approve the appointment.

Baucus has been a U.S. Senator since 1978 and announced in April 2013 that he would not run for re-election this year.

If Baucus is confirmed by the Senate, Governor Steve Bullock (D-MT) must appoint someone to fill his seat.

Bullock said on Wednesday that he is waiting until the confirmation process is complete to officially start vetting candidates.

He noted, "You know, I've been hearing all kinds of things on TV and I get the occasional phone call with individuals that think that they might be good folks to do it but we haven't taken steps towards that."

Bullock says he is considering all interested candidates including his Lieutenant Governor John Walsh.