Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), one of the chief architects of the Affordable Care Act (i.e. “Obamacare), won’t seek re-election in 2014, according to two Democrat sources familiar with the senator’s decision.
This brings to an end his 36-year run in the U.S. Senate.
The Democrat senator made headlines last week when he voted against the supposedly bipartisan Toomey-Manchin expanded background check amendment. He also caused a stir during a hearing last Wednesday when he referred to “Obamacare,” a bill he helped pass, as a “train wreck.”
“I just see a huge train wreck coming down,” he said, referring to the large number of people who do not understand how the health care law will work.
“You and I have discussed this many times, and I don’t see any results yet,” he added during the hearing with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Sen. Baucus and Sebelius discussed ways in which the public could be educated on the many details of the new law. “I’m very concerned that not enough is being done so far — very concerned.”
Here’s the senator’s full statement on his decision to not seek re-election:
“Serving the people of Montana has been the greatest honor and privilege of my life. Over the past 35 years I have been lucky to go from working for just under 800,000 of the world’s best bosses to more than a million – and I am grateful to each and every one of them for the opportunity they have given me.
“When I first asked my hero and mentor Mike Mansfield whether I should run for U.S. Senate, he told me it would take a lot of hard work, a lot of shoe leather, and a bit of luck. In the next year and a half, I want to spend all my hard work, shoe leather and luck working for the people of Montana instead of on campaigning.
“Obamacare” takes full effect in 2014 — just in time for the Baucus’ retirement.
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter
Featured image Getty Images. This post has been updated.