Baucus Throws Wrench Into Tax Reform Effort With Planned Retirement in 2014

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By Marc Heller and Ari Natter

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) announced April 23 that he will not run for re-election in 2014, raising questions on Capitol Hill about whether comprehensive tax reform can be done now that neither of the leaders of Congress's tax-writing committees will be in charge after the next election.

Baucus (D-Mont.), 71, announced his retirement after word leaked out through news outlets. In the House, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) is required to give up the top seat due to term limits set by the House Republican leadership.

Baucus, who has served in the Senate since 1978, told reporters April 23 that his decision could boost tax reform by giving him more time to craft a broad package.

“I'll have a lot more time and energy to do it since I don't have to campaign,” Baucus said. Asked if his pending retirement would help enlist more support for tax reform, Baucus replied, “That's the hope. That's the goal.”

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