With President Obama's Dec. 20 announcement that he will nominate Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus to be U.S. ambassador to China, industry officials say they don't expect to see action any time soon on one of the Montana Democrat's main priorities: an overhaul of the federal tax code.

If Baucus, as predicted, is confirmed to the China post, his successor as chairman of the powerful Finance panel is widely expected to be Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a strong advocate for renewable energy.

Baucus recently has unveiled several draft tax-reform proposals. But some industry officials say that quick action on a package of tax changes is unlikely.

Tax-reform prospects aren't bright in the House, either. Jeff Shoaf, Associated General Contractors of America senior executive director of government affairs, says House Ways and Means Committee members have been unable to get behind even a draft plan.