Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus has been confirmed as the United States Ambassador to China and will be resigning his seat in the Senate, which he has held since 1978.  Baucus is a key tax writing member of Congress, serving most recently as the chair of the Senate Finance Committee since January of 2007.  Baucus also served a chair during periods of Democrat control in 2001 though 2003.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) assumed office in 1996 after 15 years in the House of Representatives.  Wyden’s initial priorities will be to extend 55 tax provisions which have had long history in law, but which expired on December 31, 2013.  Wyden will battle with the House Ways & Means Committee, who believe these extenders should be part of a broader set of tax reforms.