(CNN) – It was a tense moment on an emotionally charged topic: the daughter of the slain principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School asking Sen. Kelly Ayotte why, in mid-April, she voted against bolstering background checks on gun sales.
"I'm just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the halls of her elementary school isn't as important" as inconveniencing gun sellers, asked Erica Lafferty, daughter of Dawn Hochsprung.
(CNN) - Longtime Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, will not seek re-election next year, he said in a statement Tuesday.
"After much consideration and many conversations with my wife Mel and our family, I have decided not to seek reelection in 2014. I will serve out my term, and then it will be time to go home to Montana," he said.
(CNN) - While there is currently no plan for Congressional leaders to meet with the president, according to an official familiar with the situation, Democratic Sen. Max Baucus said the two sides should get to work on the fiscal cliff negotiations-and soon, before the U.S. enters “uncharted waters.”
“I think that they should start negotiating right now,” Baucus said Friday on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”
Washington (CNN) - Ahead of oil executives testifying on Capitol Hill before the Senate Finance Committee, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah bemoaned the perhaps inevitable comparison of the hearings to a "dog and pony show" in this exchange with Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana. (Referenced picture above)
Hatch: "This hearing should not be used to score cheap political points, but I am afraid with all due respect Mr. Chairman that that's what we are going to see here today. I have a chart depicting what I expect this hearing will turn into. There you go. I think that's a real nice picture. I think that's pretty good myself."
(CNN) - Senate Democrats are calling oil and gas industry executives to testify next week about the billions of dollars they get in tax subsidies at the same time they are earning enormous profits and consumers are facing steep price hikes at the pumps.
Democrats also will seek a vote on legislation to block the subsidies to the largest oil companies and use the savings to either fund clean energy programs or reduce the deficit, according to a Senate Democratic leadership aide.
(CNN) – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus is the first Democrat to express displeasure with President Obama's recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the agency overseeing Medicare and Medicaid.
"I'm troubled that, rather than going through the standard nomination process, Dr. Berwick was recess appointed. Senate confirmation of presidential appointees is an essential process prescribed by the Constitution that serves as a check on executive power and protects Montanans and all Americans by ensuring that crucial questions are asked of the nominee – and answered," the Montana senator said in a statement.
Baucus went on to state that he looked forward to working with the agency on health care reform's implementation "despite the recess appointment."
Listen: CNN Radio's Lisa Desjardins takes a look at the decision.
– CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett contributed to this report.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Lawmakers will start 2010 with a hefty to-do list thanks to a lot of unfinished tax business they left on the table in 2009. The chief example: the estate tax.
Senate Democrats failed to reach a deal with Senate Republicans to temporarily extend the estate tax into 2010, when it is scheduled to be repealed for one year.
But that doesn't necessarily mean there won't be any tax on inheritances in the year about to start.
Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel, D-New York, have said they will try to get it reinstated for 2010 after the new year.
Washington (CNN)– Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele called for a Senate Ethics Committee hearing to evaluate any possible wrongdoing by Sen. Max Baucus Saturday.
In a statement released by the RNC Steele said:
"Today's report that Senator Max Baucus used his Senate office to advance a taxpayer funded appointment for his staff-member girlfriend raises a whole host of ethical questions. This issue demands the attention of the Senate Ethics Committee. They should hold a hearing to identify who was involved in this process, what they knew and when they knew it, and why Senator Baucus put his personal needs above those of the people of Montana."