Key Democrat Undecided on Sotomayor

(AP)
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont) has been getting a lot of heat from liberals upset over the way his push for a bipartisan compromise over health care reform that may not include a "public option."

Now the furor from the left may increase due to comments Baucus made to The Hill newspaper.

Baucus, the chair of Senate Finance Committee, told the paper that he doesn't know yet how he'll vote on Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court when it comes to a vote to the full Senate next week.

"I have no idea," Baucus told the paper. He said that he has been too busy with the health care legislation to pay attention.

Baucus said: "I haven't paid any attention and I haven't announced [a position]…I've been so busy with health care. It's under consideration. I'll certainly know when I vote, but right now I can't tell you."

The Hill speculates that a call from National Rifle Association to oppose Sotomayor may be a factor in the lack of firm support from some more conservative Democrats.

Baucus voted in favor of Bush Supreme Court nominee John Roberts but against another Bush pick, Samuel Alito.

If Baucus decides to vote against Sotomayor's nomination, he'll be the first Democrat to announce his intention to do so. On the flip side, six Republicans have indicated their intention to vote in favor of the nomination.

Update 2 p.m. ET: In a statement, Baucus now says he is "proud" to support Sotomayor. Read more here.>

See also in Hotsheet:

Liberal Senators Grumble Over Baucus' Concessions

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.