Sen. Wyden in Line to Replace Baucus as Finance Committee Chair

Notable critic of NSA behavior


The Democrat in line to chair the Senate's most powerful committee is a liberal Oregonian who has been an occasional thorn in the side of the intelligence community, the Obama administration and his own party.

For Sen. Ron Wyden, the only job better than leading the Senate Finance Committee and its jurisdiction over taxes, trade and health care policy might be starting forward for the Portland Trailblazers.

"After the NBA, it's probably his dream job," said Jennifer Hoelzer, a former aide to the lanky, 6-foot-4 former college basketball player.

President Barack Obama said Friday he intends to nominate Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., as U.S. ambassador to China. After 35 years in the Senate, Baucus announced last April he would not seek re-election next year. Wyden is the panel's third most-senior Democrat, behind West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who also has said he wouldn't seek another term in 2014.