Entries in Max Baucus (3)


Top Negotiators: ‘We Have Reached an Agreement’ on Payroll Tax Measure

Tom Williams/Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- The top two negotiators on the payroll tax credit announced early Thursday morning that they have reached a comprehensive, bipartisan deal after months of brinksmanship and tough negotiations.

The top Republican and Democratic negotiators met behind closed doors late into Wednesday evening working out a final agreement.  Finally, at about 12:40 a.m. on Thursday, the duo emerged to break the news to reporters in the Capitol.

“We have reached an agreement,” Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), the Republican chairman of the conference committee announced.  “We’re at [legislative] council drafting, and with all drafting there are obviously technical issues that come up, but we’re confident that this can be concluded and so we’re here together to announce that we do have an agreement and we’re moving forward.”

“We have an agreement,” Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the Democratic vice chair of the conference committee, echoed.  “A couple of things have to be worked out, but they’re minor and we expect that there will be a final, total result tomorrow.”

The leaders said they were still collecting signatures from the other 18 conferees participating in the conference, but the agreement enables the process to move forward.

“It’s clear that we’ll have a majority of the conferees sign the conference report and we’d like to have them sign it tonight, but we didn’t reach a full agreement until just now,” Baucus said.  “But we have an agreement, and I’m totally convinced and assured -- I’ve talked to conferees.  There will be a majority of conferees will sign.”

Baucus and Camp were unsure how soon the House and Senate could vote to pass the bill, telling reporters those are leadership decisions.  On Wednesday, House Republican leaders said they hoped they could vote by Friday.

The deal will extend the payroll tax credit for another 10 months, reform unemployment insurance and provide a so-called Doc Fix for physicians providing Medicare services.

“This is very important for a lot of people, 160 million Americans, who are now going to maintain their payroll tax cut,” Baucus said.  “Lots of folks who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own are going to receive their unemployment benefits, seniors are going to be able to see their doctors to get Medicare, and it’s good for the country.  Very good for the country.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Baucus: Payroll Deal 'Very Close'; Few 'Little Wrinkles' to Iron Out

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the members of the payroll conference committee, said that while a few “wrinkles” remain, negotiators are “very close” to coming to a formal deal to extend the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance, and the “doc fix.”

“We’re there, but what really counts is if we get the job done,” Baucus told reporters Wednesday, “to provide the unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut for Americans. We’re there, there are just a couple little wrinkles that sometimes get in the way but I think they will all be ironed out today.”

Baucus, one of the main negotiators on the Senate side, said he’s “pretty optimistic” that the last few details of the deal will be finished Wednesday.  The Senator admitted that last minute compromise came together in part because of legislators’ acute understanding of how a failure to extend the payroll credit would affect their already tarnished image to Americans.

“I think frankly a lot of people in Washington, D.C., know that Congress is not enjoying such a great reputation and here’s an opportunity to reach an agreement, to show that we can get our work done,” Baucus said.

The payroll tax credits and other two expiring policies are set to expire on February 29.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Super Committee Takes Shape: Reid Taps Sens. Murray, Baucus & Kerry

United States Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has made his choice of three people to serve on the 12-member “super committee” charged with identifying $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction by Nov. 23.

Reid has chosen Senator Max Baucus, D-Mont., who chairs the Senate Finance Committee; Senator John Kerry, D-Mass.; and DSCC Chair Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash. A Senate Democratic aide confirmed the picks after they were first reported by Politico. All three voted in favor of the debt ceiling bill last week that created the super committee.

The selections of Senate Democrats are the first of the picks for the 12-person committee to drip out.

Senator Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi each will also get three, but none of them have made a formal announcement of their choices. At a town hall in Kentucky Tuesday, McConnell said he is “very close” to picking his choices, but is not ready to make an announcement yet.

“The Joint Select Committee has been charged with forging the balanced, bipartisan approach to deficit reduction that the American people, the markets and rating agencies like Standard and Poor’s are demanding," said Reid in a paper statement.

“As the events of the past week have made clear, the world is watching the work of this committee," he said, referring to the turbulence in the stock market and the economy. "I am confident that Senators Murray, Baucus and Kerry will bring the thoughtfulness, bipartisanship, and commitment to a balanced approach that will produce the best outcome for the American people.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio