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January, 22, 2014

Confirmation hearing for Baucus set next week (KTVQ)

HELENA - Max Baucus' 35-year run in the U.S. Senate could end as early as next week.

Baucus (D-MT) has been nominated by President Obama to become the next U.S. ambassador to China.

On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee announced it will hold Baucus' confirmation hearing next Tuesday.

Political experts say Baucus should have no problems sailing through the confirmation process.

If the committee approves, the appointment will go to the full Senate for a vote, which could happen as early as the end of next week.

Baucus announced last year that he would not seek a seventh term in the Senate; at that time, he said that he planned to retire and move back to Montana.

However, those plans changed when Obama nominated him to succeed current U.S. ambassador to China Gary Locke.

Baucus has said that once he is confirmed, he plans to resign his Senate seat.

Governor Steve Bullock (D-MT) will appoint Baucus' successor but has not said whether he will select Lt. Governor John Walsh, who is already a candidate for the Senate, or pick someone else.

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