Wyden next in line to chair Finance Committee

Wyden next in line to chair Finance Committee
FILE - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, answers constituents' questions during one of his town halls in Portland, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013. Wyden is next in line to chair the Senate Finance Committee. (Steve Benham/KATU.com File Photo)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The retirement of Montana Sen. Max Baucus could mean a promotion for Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, who is next in line to succeed Baucus as chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee if Democrats maintain control of the U.S. Senate.

Baucus announced Tuesday he will retire at the end of his term. The Finance Committee's No. 2 Democrat, Sen. John D. Rockefeller of West Virginia, also is retiring. Wyden is No. 3.

The Finance Committee is responsible for taxation, health care, trade and a variety of other hot-button issues.

Wyden is currently chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

In a statement, Wyden said "the Senate will be a different place" without Baucus, but he's focused on the Finance Committee's agenda over the next 18 months.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.