Senate Committee Approves Baucus Ambassador Nomination - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Senate Committee Approves Baucus Ambassador Nomination

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MISSOULA -

President Obama's nomination of Sen. Max Baucus as Ambassador to China breezed through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday, with a full Senate vote expected to come later this week.

Baucus, a Democrat who serves as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, was nominated to one of the country's most important diplomatic posts by Obama in December.

If approved by the Senate later this week, Baucus will replace Ambassador Gary Locke.

Baucus has visited China almost ten times and says he hopes to help build a better economic relationship with China.

The U.S. trade deficit with China is far bigger than it is with any other country, and China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt.

If Baucus becomes the next Ambassador to China, he will assume his post immediately, leaving open a Senate seat long held by his party.

It will be up to Democratic Governor Steve Bullock to fill Baucus' seat. Bullock has not given any hints as to whom he intends to appoint.

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