ABC News’ Rick Klein Reports: In advance of a late afternoon meeting of the Senate Finance Committee, Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., is breaking his silence on the tax problems faced by Tom Daschle in his bid to become secretary of Health and Human Services.
Baucus is voicing strong — though not full-throated — support for Daschle.
The statement from his office:
“As indicated by news reports over the weekend, the Senate Finance Committee has been reviewing a number of issues with regard to Senator Daschle’s nomination as part of our vetting process. As with every nominee, all issues raised will be considered carefully and thoroughly by the Finance Committee in the coming days. The Committee will meet this afternoon to discuss the findings of this vetting process and next steps, and I will comment further once I’ve had a chance to hear my fellow Senators’ thoughts. We will also make public the information discovered and reviewed in the vetting process.
“I have applauded Senator Daschle’s nomination to the post of HHS Secretary, and my faith in his dedication and qualifications has only been bolstered in recent weeks by our numerous conversations about the pressing need for comprehensive health care reform. The ability to advance meaningful health reform is my top priority in confirming a Secretary of Health and Human Services, and I remain convinced that Senator Daschle would be an invaluable and expert partner in this effort. I am eager to move forward together.”