Jan 22, 2014 2:37 PM by Joel Lundstad - MTN News
WASHINGTON, SC - Senator Max Baucus' 35-year run in the U-S Senate could end as early as next week.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee announced Wednesday that it will hold Baucus' confirmation hearing for U.S. ambassador to China next Tuesday.
Political experts say Baucus should have no problems sailing through the confirmation process. Now if the committee approves, then the appointment will go to the full U.S. Senate for a vote - which could happen as early as the end of next week.
Sen. Baucus announced last year that he would not seek a seventh term in the Senate, and at that time, he planned to retire and move back to Montana.
However, those plans changed when President Obama appointed Baucus to succeed current U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke.
Sen. Baucus has said that if he's confirmed for the overseas post, then he plans to resign his Senate seat.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock will appoint Baucus' successor, but has not said whether he would appoint his Lt. Governor John Walsh, who is already a candidate for the Senate.