Tester honors Baucus on Senate floor

Before confirmation vote, Senator hails Baucus as a ‘champion for Montana’

(U.S. SENATE) – Minutes before the U.S. Senate confirmed Max Baucus to be the next U.S. Ambassador to China, Senator Jon Tester took to the Senate floor to hail his fellow Treasure State Senator as a “champion for Montana.”

“Montana’s leaders have always put Montana first, and Max is no exception,” Tester said. “His long record of service proves that Montanans don’t want a showman. They want someone who will reach across the aisle and find a way to say ‘yes,’ even when saying ‘no’ is the easier thing to do. I know Max will continue to serve Montana, even he serves our nation overseas.”

The Senate confirmed Baucus unanimously.

Tester, who first met Baucus at an economic development meeting in Havre, Montana in 1998, said that serving as Ambassador to China will let Baucus continue to follow in the footsteps of his mentor, former Montana Senator and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Mike Mansfield.

“Max, I wish you the best. And while you’re gone, I’ll keep up your fight on behalf of Montanans, particularly the Montanans who need someone to fight for them,” said Tester, who joined Baucus in the Senate in 2007. “That’s the Montana way. That’s the Max Baucus way”

In his speech, Tester highlighted Baucus’s long record of accomplishment in Congress, including passing six Farm Bills and three Highway bills, saving Social Security from privatization, modernizing the Clean Air Act, passing historic health care reform and preserving thousands of acres of Montana lands for future generations.

Tester began and ended his speech by saluting Baucus’s work to help the people of Libby from asbestos exposure that continues to affect thousands of residents. After a long battle, Baucus got the federal government to declare the town a Public Health Emergency, freeing up resources to screen and treat patients.

“Thanks to Max, Libby today is home to a state-of-the-art medical clinic that screens and treats residents for asbestosis,” Tester said. “Thanks to Max, the Affordable Care Act extended Medicare coverage to everyone in the emergency zone. And thanks to Max, funds are flowing into Libby to remove asbestos from Libby’s homes, schools, and playgrounds.”

For more on Senator Baucus’s record, read his biography HERE. Tester’s full floor remarks are below.

Tester’s farewell speech to Senator Max Baucus by les_braswell5524