As Democratic Sen. Max Baucus (Mont.) prepares to leave the U.S. Senate in 2014, the Washington Free Beacon takes a look at some of the iconic moments of his three-decade career.
1. Baucus Called His Obamacare Law a "Train Wreck."
"I don’t think you want me to waste my time to read every page of the health care bill," Baucus said. "You know why? It’s statutory language. We hire experts."
2. Baucus’ Office Was a Lobbyist Training Ground.
At least 28 of the senator’s former aides have lobbied on tax issues. Many have pointed to this as concerning, given Baucus’ role as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. "No other lawmaker on Capitol Hill has such a sizable constellation of former aides working as tax lobbyists, representing blue-chip clients" reported the New York Times, a troubling situation given the fact Baucus would have a "crucial role in shaping any legislation [that rewrites the tax code.]"
3. Baucus Recommended His Mistress for a U.S. Attorney Job.
Melodee Hanes, Baucus’ wife since 2011, worked for the senator as his state director. Baucus had nominated his mistress for U.S. attorney general for Montana. He was also criticized for giving Hanes "a nearly $14,000 pay raise" and "[taking] her on a taxpayer-funded trip to Southeast Asia and the Middle East" while they were romantically linked, according to Politico. Melodee subsequently withdrew her nomination for attorney general.
4. Former Chief of Staff Accused Baucus of Sexual Assault.
Baucus’ former chief of staff Christine Niedermeier accused him of sexual assault in 1999 after she was fired, a claim he and former staffer Jim Messina adamantly denied. The case was thrown out.
5. The Senator’s Ex-Wife Was Charged With Assault in Northwest D.C.
Baucus’ wife, Wanda, was charged with assault in 2004. Police reported the senator’s wife was "upset that she wasn't getting help having mulch loaded into her car, while another customer was." Wanda reportedly prohibited the other customer from moving her car and "the two exchanged words, and Baucus allegedly hit the woman several times."
Sen. Baucus filed for divorce from his wife of 25 years in 2009.