WASHINGTON D.C. – President Barack Obama on Dec. 20 nominated U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont, to be the next U.S. Ambassador to China. His nomination is subject to a confirmation vote by the U.S. Senate.

Baucus was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1974 and to the U.S. Senate in 1978. He is a long-time member and the current chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, helped create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and worked to prevent the privatizing of Social Security.

“With his years of service on the Finance Committee and deep knowledge of U.S. trade policy, Max will be a tremendous representative for the American people in China,” said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., in a press release.

If confirmed, Baucus would replace outgoing U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke.