Warner gets open slot on Finance

Warner gets open slot on Finance
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mark WarnerMark WarnerSusan Rice met with Senate Intelligence Committee as part of Russia probe Dem senator: Pardoning targets of Russia probe would be 'crossing a fundamental line' Juan Williams: Trump's war on U.S. intelligence MORE (D-Va.) has joined the Senate Finance Committee, filling an open slot created by round of recent seat changes. 

Warner had been considered the front-runner for the job because of his strong business ties and ability to build consensus among Democrats.He is up for reelection this year and will likely face Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National Committee.

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The panel got a new chairman this week, too. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) took over for former Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who was confirmed last week as the U.S. ambassador to China.  

Warner, first elected in 2008, quietly lobbied for the seat because he is interested in overhauling the tax code and curbing entitlement spending. 

The majority has 12 seats on the powerful panel, which oversees taxes, trade and health entitlement programs such as Medicare.

Warner has been out front with housing finance reform legislation, working with Republican Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), and was active in the bipartisan Gang of Six talks on a deficit grand bargain in 2011.