Senate panel clears Baucus for China post

The Senate Foreign Relations panel cleared Sen. Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusSteady American leadership is key to success with China and Korea Orrin Hatch, ‘a tough old bird,’ got a lot done in the Senate Canada crossing fine line between fair and unfair trade MORE (D-Mont.) to be ambassador to China on Tuesday, paving the way for the Senate to vote on his nomination possibly as early as Thursday.

The panel cleared Baucus by unanimous voice vote. The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee stumbled briefly during his confirmation hearing last week when he declared that he was “no real expert on China,” but he is expected to easily get confirmed when Senator Democrats return from their one-day retreat.

The panel also confirmed President Obama's pick to be Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Rose Gottemoeller. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and James Risch (R-Idaho) voted against her over concerns about Obama's Iran diplomacy and reports that Russia may have violated a missile treaty with the U.S.

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