Daily Tax Update - February 6, 2014: Senate Confirms Baucus To Be Ambassador

THE DAILY TAX UPDATE WILL BE PUBLISHED ON A PERIODIC BASIS UNTIL CONGRESS RETURNS ON FEBRUARY 11TH

SENATE CONFIRMS BAUCUS TO BE AMBASSADOR: Today, the Senate voted 96-0 to confirm Sen. Max Baucus as the U.S. ambassador to China.  Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) is expected to be named to replace Baucus as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.  It is expected that the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee will name Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) to fill the open seat on the Finance Committee.

Baucus made the following statement today on tax reform, “As I reflect on my time in the Senate, I am proud of our continued fight for smart tax reform.   Senator Hatch and Congressman Camp have been great partners and I am hopeful that our hard work and collaborative efforts will pave the way for further momentum in the years ahead.   It’s a tough road, but ultimately we can’t let politics get in the way of much needed policy.”

UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION BILL BLOCKED AGAIN IN SENATE:  Senate Republicans blocked the third attempt by Democrats to pass an extension of federal unemployment benefits. The Senate voted 58-40 on a proposal that would have continued unemployment insurance for three months, but fell just short of the 60 votes needed to end debate.

Senate Democrats vowed to bring the bill before the Senate again.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “I’m beginning to believe there is nothing that will get Republicans to yes. It’s a ‘no’ vote because they don’t want to extend unemployment insurance.”  Reid added, “We’re one Republican vote away from restoring benefits to 1.7 million Americans. There is one Republican vote standing in the way of a lifeline to these 1.7 million people.”