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Confirmed » The Senate unanimously confirmed Sen. Max Baucus to be the ambassador to China and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, was the first to pay tribute to the Democrat from Montana on the Senate floor.

Baucus has led the Senate Finance Committee, and Hatch is the panel’s top Republican. They have worked on tax reform, though it appears to have stalled, on trade deals and on an investigation into the IRS handling of tea-party groups. The two have been at odds over the Affordable Care Act.

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Hatch heaped praise on Baucus, saying he has done "a terrific job" in leading the committee and that he’s been "indefatigable" in his representation of Montana.

Baucus joined the Senate in 1978, two years after Hatch.

"I have nothing but respect for Max. I appreciate him very much. I am his friend, and I intend to continue this friendship as long as we both live," Hatch said.

When it was Baucus’ turn to say farewell to the Senate, he returned the compliment.

"The senator is a real American — Orrin Hatch. He’s the salt of Utah and cares about his state and his country. The senator is a wonderful person to work with."

Morning email » Snack on Political Cornflakes, our morning dish of political news. Email cornflakes@sltrib.com to join our mailing list or follow us on Twitter @SLTribPolitics and check back at http://www.politicalcornflakes.com for regular updates.Burr and Canham report from Washington, D.C. They can be reached attburr@sltrib.com or mcanham@sltrib.com or via Twitter @thomaswburr or @mattcanham.

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