|Secretary of the Senate Democratic Conference|
January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||Patty Murray|
|United States Senator|
January 3, 2013
Serving with Ron Johnson
|Preceded by||Herb Kohl|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Wisconsin's 2nd district
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2013
|Preceded by||Scott Klug|
|Succeeded by||Mark Pocan|
|Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly|
from the 78th district
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 1999
|Preceded by||David Clarenbach|
|Succeeded by||Mark Pocan|
|Born||Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin|
(1962-02-11) February 11, 1962 (age 56)
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
University of Wisconsin–Madison(JD)
Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin (born February 11, 1962) is the juniorUnited States Senator from Wisconsin and a member of the Democratic Party. She served three terms in the Wisconsin Assembly, representing the 78th district, and from 1999 to 2013 represented Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.
Baldwin defeated her Republican opponent, former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, in the 2012 U.S. Senate election. She is the first woman elected to represent Wisconsin in the U.S. Congress and the first openly gay U.S. Senator in history.
Early life, education, and early political career
Baldwin was born and grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, the daughter of Pamela (née Green) and Joseph Edward Baldwin. She was raised by her mother and her maternal grandparents. Her maternal grandfather, biochemist David E. Green, was Jewish (the son of immigrants from Russia and Germany), and her maternal grandmother, who was Anglican, was English-born. Baldwin's aunt is biochemist Rowena Green Matthews; through her maternal grandfather, Baldwin is a third cousin of comedian Andy Samberg.
Baldwin graduated from Madison West High School in 1980 as the class valedictorian. She earned a B.A. degree from Smith College in 1984 and a J.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1989. She was a lawyer in private practice from 1989 to 1992.
Baldwin was first elected to political office in 1986 at the age of 24 when she was elected to the Dane CountyBoard of Supervisors, a position she held until 1994. She also served one year on the MadisonCity Council to fill a vacancy in the coterminous district.
Wisconsin Assembly (1993–1999)
In 1992, Baldwin ran to represent Wisconsin's 78th Assembly District. She won the Democratic primary with 43% of the vote. In the general election, Baldwin defeated Mary Kay Baum (Labor and Farm Party nominee) and Patricia Hevenor (Republican Party nominee) by a vote of 59%-23%-17%. She was one of just six openly gay political candidates nationwide to win a general election in 1992.
In 1994, Baldwin won reelection to a second term with 76% of the vote. In 1996, she won reelection to a third term with 71% of the vote.
Baldwin was the first openly lesbian member of the Wisconsin Assembly and one of a very few openly gay politicians in the country at the time. In 1993, Baldwin said she was disappointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton's support of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. In early 1994, she proposed legalizing same-sex marriage in Wisconsin. In 1995, she proposed domestic partnerships in Wisconsin.
Baldwin opposes capital punishment in Wisconsin.
- Criminal Justice Committee
- Education Committee (Chair)
U.S. House of Representatives (1999–2013)
In 1998, U.S. Congressman Scott Klug of the 2nd District, based in Madison, announced he would retire, prompting Baldwin to run for the seat. She won the Democratic primary with a plurality of 37% of the vote. In the general election, she defeated Republican nominee Josephine Musser 53%-47%.
Baldwin was the first woman elected to Congress from Wisconsin. She was also the first openly gay woman elected to the House of Representatives.
In 2000, Baldwin won reelection to a second term, defeating Republican John Sharpless 51%-49%, a difference of 8,902 votes. While she lost eight of the district's nine counties, she carried the largest, Dane County, with 55 percent of the vote—enough to give her the victory.
After the 2000 census, the 2nd District was made significantly more Democratic in redistricting. Baldwin won reelection to a third term in the newly redrawn 2nd District with 66% of the vote against Republican Ron Greer. In 2004, she beat Dave Magnum 63%-37%. She won a 2006 rematch against Magnum, again winning 63%-37%. In 2008, she defeated Peter Theron 69%-31%, and in 2010 she won a seventh term with 62% of the vote against Chad Lee.
U.S. Senate (2013–present)
Main article: United States Senate election in Wisconsin, 2012
Baldwin ran as the Democratic nominee against Republican nominee Tommy Thompson, who had formerly been governor and Secretary of Health and Human Services. She announced her candidacy on September 6, 2011, in a video emailed to supporters. She ran uncontested in the primary election, and spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention about tax policy, campaign finance reform, and equality in the United States.
She was endorsed by Democracy for America, and she received campaign funding from EMILY's List, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, and LPAC. Baldwin was endorsed by the editorial board of The Capital Times, who wrote that "Baldwin's fresh ideas on issues ranging from job creation to health care reform, along with her proven record of working across lines of partisanship and ideology, and her grace under pressure mark her as precisely the right choice to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl."
Former Gov. Tommy Thompson claimed that her “far left approach leaves this country in jeopardy.”
The candidates had three debates, on September 28, October 18, and October 26. According to Baldwin's Federal Election Commission filings, she raised about $12 million, over $5 million more than her opponent.
On November 6, 2012, Baldwin became the first openly gay candidate to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Because of her 14 years in the House of Representatives, under Senate rules she had the highest seniority in her entering class of senators.
Baldwin was featured in Time's November 19, 2012 edition, in the Verbatim section, where she was quoted as saying "I didn't run to make history" on her historic election. In a separate section, she was also mentioned as a new face to watch in the Senate.
Main article: United States Senate election in Wisconsin, 2018
Baldwin is running for reelection in 2018.
- Committee on Appropriations
- Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
- Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security
- Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet
- Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard
- Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness
- Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security
- Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
In October 2012, Baldwin described herself as a proud progressive. "Fighting Bob La Follette stood up to fight the monopolies of the day and wanted people to have a stronger voice," she said. "We have the same powerful interests today who think they can write their own rules in Washington...I consider myself a progressive and a fighter who's not afraid to stand up to those interests." No two U.S. Senators from the same state vote the same way less often than Baldwin and her Republican colleague Ron Johnson do.
In 2003, Baldwin served on the advisory committee of the Progressive Majority, a political action committee dedicated to electing progressive candidates to public office.
Baldwin is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. According to a 2011 National Journal survey, she was among the most liberal members of the House. As of 2012, her voting record made her one of the most liberal members of Congress.
Economy and jobs
In a September 2015 radio interview, Baldwin said that she, the Pope, and Donald Trump all supported repeal of the carried interest tax loophole. Politifact stated that there was no record of the Pope weighing in on this particular tax break.
In 2016, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gave Baldwin a 32% cumulative score on "key business votes." The Wisconsin GOP noted that in the view of the Chamber of Commerce, Baldwin therefore had "the worst record of any red-state Senator when it comes to jobs," Joe Manchin, for example, having earned a score of 59% and Joe Donnelly a score of 65%. "Senator Baldwin," wrote the Wisconsin GOP, "hovers closer to Senator Elizabeth Warren, who's at 31%."
In October 2017, CBS News reported that the Freedom Partners, a Koch-funded group, had "launched a $1.6 million television and digital ad campaign" targeting Baldwin for her "stance on taxes." The ads charged her with having "voted for five trillion dollars in more taxes" and with having "supported higher income taxes, sales taxes – even energy taxes." One ad stated: "If Tammy Baldwin opposes tax reform, it's proof that she opposes jobs."
In October 2017, the editors of The Capital Times praised Baldwin and Bernie Sanders for their vocal opposition to a budget resolution that they believed would increase income inequality. Baldwin was described as "one of the budget's most ardent foes."
In November 2017, Baldwin expressed opposition to the Trump tax-reform bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, saying that it was being drafted "behind closed doors" and charging that it was being "shoved through." In its place, she promoted a bill, the Stronger Way Act, that she and Cory Booker (D-NJ) co-sponsored.
The Wisconsin GOP claimed on October 11, 2017, that Baldwin had "voted in favor of higher taxes and fees more than 400 times since she arrived in Washington."
In November 2013, Baldwin introduced a bill that would "bring greater government transparency, oversight and due process whenever authorities use information gathered for intelligence purposes to make domestic non-terrorism cases against Americans."
Baldwin described the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, in June 2016 as a "hate crime" and said "The question now for America is are we going to come together and stand united against hate, gun violence and terrorism?" She later described it as a "hate crime."
In June 2013, Baldwin voted for S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, which would have enabled undocumented immigrants to acquire legal residency status and, later, citizenship.
She voted against Kate's Law in 2016.
In 2017, immigration reduction advocacy group NumbersUSA gave Baldwin an overall grade of F, with a score of 11% on immigration bills. On the reduction of unnecessary worker visas, she scored a C; on the reduction of refugee and asylum fraud, and on the reduction of amnesty enticements, she scored F-.
Opposition to Iraq War
Baldwin was a vocal critic of the Iraq War. On October 10, 2002, she was among the 133 members of the House who voted against authorizing the invasion of Iraq. She warned there would be "postwar challenges," observing that "there is no history of democratic government in Iraq," that its "economy and infrastructure are in ruins after years of war and sanctions," and that rebuilding would take "a great deal of money." In 2005, she joined the Out of Iraq Caucus.
Impeachment of Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales
On August 1, 2007, Baldwin cosponsored H. Res. 333, a bill proposing articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney, and H Res. 589, a bill proposing the impeachment of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. On January 20, 2008, Baldwin wrote in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that on December 14, 2007, "I joined with my colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee, Reps. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), in urging Chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) to conduct hearings on a resolution of impeachment now pending consideration in that committee." Although some constituents "say I have gone too far," others "argue I have not gone far enough" and feel "we are losing our democracy and that I should do more to hold the Bush administration accountable for its actions."
An outspoken advocate of single-payer, government-run universal health care system since her days as a state legislator, Baldwin introduced the Health Security for All Americans Act, which would have required states to provide such a system, in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2005. The bill died each time it was introduced without a House vote.
She has said that she "believes strongly that a single-payer health system is the best way to comprehensively and fairly reform our health care system." In November 2009, Baldwin voted for the version of health-care reform that included a public option, a government-run health-care plan that would have competed with private insurers, but only the House passed that version. She ultimately voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which became law in 2010. Baldwin said she hoped a public option in the ACA would lead to a single-payer system. The first version of the ACA Baldwin voted for included a public option, but the final version did not.
In 2009, Baldwin introduced the Ending LGBT Health Disparities Act (ELHDA), which sought to advance LGBT health priorities by promoting research, cultural competency, and non-discrimination policies. The bill was not passed.
Resolution on 9/11 victims
Baldwin was one of 22 members of Congress to vote against a 2006 resolution honoring victims of the September 11 attacks on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. (The resolution passed 395-22.) Baldwin said she voted against the resolution because it also endorsed the Patriot Act and criticized illegal immigration.
Her vote received renewed attention in the 2012 U.S. Senate campaign when Tommy Thompson's campaign released an ad about it. Thompson said in a statement, "Wisconsin voters need to know that Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin put her extreme views above honoring the men and women who were murdered by the terrorists in the Sept. 11 attacks on our nation." The Baldwin campaign responded by saying Thompson's ad was a "dishonest attack that tries to suggest Tammy Baldwin opposes honoring the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks."
In 2009, when the House voted overwhelmingly to defund ACORN, Baldwin was one of 75 House members who did not.
On October 20, 2013, Baldwin was one of sixteen female Democratic Senators to sign a letter endorsing Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee in the 2016 presidential election.
Handling of Veterans Affairs report
In January 2015, USA Today obtained a copy of a report by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general about the Tomah, WisconsinVeterans Affairs medical facility. The report said that two physicians at the Tomah VA were among the biggest prescribers of opioids in a multistate region, raising "potentially serious concerns." Baldwin's office had received the report in August 2014 but did not take action until January 2015, when she called for an investigation after the Center for Investigative Reporting published details of the report, including information about a veteran who died from an overdose at the facility. A whistleblower and former Tomah VA employee learned that Baldwin's office had a copy of the report, and he repeatedly emailed Baldwin's office asking that she take action on the issue. Baldwin's office did not explain why they waited from August 2014 to January 2015 to call for an investigation. Baldwin was the only member of Congress who had a copy of the inspection report.
In February 2015, Baldwin fired her deputy state director over her handling of the VA report. The aide was offered but declined a severance deal that included a cash payout and a confidentiality agreement that would have required her to keep quiet. The aide filed an ethics complaint with the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The complaint was dismissed as lacking merit. Baldwin said, "we should have done a better job listening to and communicating with another constituent with whom we were working on problems at the VA", and that she had started a review of why her office had failed to act on the report. As a result of the review, Baldwin fined her chief of staff, demoted her state director, and reassigned a veterans' outreach staffer. In November 2017, Baldwin co-sponsored legislation to strengthen opioid safety in the Department of Veterans Affairs.
|Independent||Nimrod Allen, III||16,455||0.55%||n/a|
Baldwin is the granddaughter of biochemist David E. Green and the niece of another biochemist, Rowena Green Matthews. For fifteen years, Baldwin's domestic partner was Lauren Azar; in 2009, the couple registered as domestic partners in Wisconsin. They separated in 2010.
- ^Grinberg, Emanuella (November 7, 2012). "Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin is first openly gay person elected to Senate". CNN. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- ^"Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin". Ancestry.com. Retrieved 2009-01-07.
- ^Baldwin, Tammy. "About". Friends of Tammy Baldwin. Retrieved June 23, 2012.
- ^Roehr, Bob (June 14, 2007). "Marriage activists mark Loving anniversary". The Bay Area Reporter. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
- ^"Scoop : People.com". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
- ^"Portraits of 14 new senators". Retrieved 28 July 2016.
- ^"Tammy Baldwin's Biography". TammyBaldwin.house.gov. Archived from the original on 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2006-12-06.
- ^"U.S. Congress Voting Record". Washington Post.
- ^ abcdKeen, Judy (November 7, 2012). "Profile: Wisconsin Sen.-elect Tammy Baldwin". USA Today. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- ^'Wisconsin Blue Book 2003-2004,' Biographical Sketch of Tammy Baldwin, pg. 13
- ^"WI State House 78 - D Primary Race - Sep 08, 1992". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- ^"WI State House 78 Race - Nov 03, 1992". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- ^"AIDS, gay rights top agenda". The Telegraph-Herald. January 4, 1993.
- ^"WI State House 78 Race - Nov 08, 1994". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- ^"WI State House 78 Race - Nov 05, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- ^"Baldwin disappointed with Clinton compromise". The Milwaukee Journal. July 20, 1993.
- ^Weintraub, Joanne (February 11, 1994). "Activist denounces move to legalize gay marriages". The Milwaukee Journal.
- ^"Lesbian can't adopt child". The Milwaukee Sentinel. June 9, 1994.
- ^"Benefits/ Mates gain coverage". The Milwaukee Journal. July 17, 1995.
- ^"JSOnline.com News Archives". Nl.newsbank.com. 1994-09-16. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- ^"'Pre-emption bill' deserves to be shot down". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. April 3, 1995.
- ^"Former prisoners blast, laud prison 'boot camp'". The Telegraph-Herald. December 17, 1993.
- ^"WI - District 02 - D Primary Race - Sep 08, 1998". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- ^"WI District 2 Race - Nov 03, 1998". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- ^"Tammy Baldwin: Openly gay lawmaker could make history in Wisconsin U.S. Senate race - Chicago Tribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
Read our 2017 Report Card for Baldwin.
Baldwin is shown as a purple triangle ▲ in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the Senate positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).
The chart is based on the bills Baldwin has sponsored and cosponsored. See full analysis methodology.
Ratings from Advocacy Organizations
Tammy Baldwin sits on the following committees:
- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
- Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard
- Member, Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security
- Member, Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet
- Member, Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness
- Member, Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security
- Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
- Senate Committee on Appropriations
- Member, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
- Member, Subcommittee on Department of Defense
- Member, Subcommittee on Department of Homeland Security
- Member, Subcommittee on Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies
- Member, Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies
Baldwin was the primary sponsor of 4 bills that were enacted:
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We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if about one third or more of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).
Baldwin sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:
Health (25%)Education (18%)Armed Forces and National Security (15%)Government Operations and Politics (10%)Public Lands and Natural Resources (10%)Commerce (8%)Transportation and Public Works (8%)Taxation (8%)
Some of Baldwin’s most recently sponsored bills include...
View All » | View Cosponsors »
|Baldwin’s Vote||Vote Description|
|Nay||On the Nomination PN52: Terry Branstad, of Iowa, to be Ambassador to the People's Republic of China|
May 22, 2017. Nomination Confirmed 82/13.
|Nay||On the Nomination PN41: Daniel Coats, of Indiana, to be Director of National Intelligence|
Mar 15, 2017. Nomination Confirmed 85/12.
|Yea||H.R. 5325: Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2017|
Sep 28, 2016. Bill Passed 72/26.
|Nay||S. 2328: National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2015|
Jun 29, 2016. Motion Agreed to 68/30.
The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) —designated as Pub.L. 114–187 and originally as H.R. 5278— is a federal law enacted by the United States Congress that establishes an oversight board, a process for restructuring debt, and expedited procedures for approving critical ...
|Yea||H.R. 22: Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act|
Dec 3, 2015. Conference Report Agreed to 83/16.
H.R 22, formerly the Hire More Heroes Act, has become the Senate’s vehicle for passage of the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act or DRIVE Act (S. 1647). The DRIVE Act is a major bipartisan transportation bill that would authorize funding ...
|No||H.R. 6233 (112th): Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2012|
Aug 2, 2012. Passed 223/197.
|No||H.R. 1249 (112th): Leahy-Smith America Invents Act|
Jun 23, 2011. Passed 304/117.
The Leahy–Smith America Invents Act (AIA) is a United States federal statute that was passed by Congress and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on September 16, 2011. The law represents the most significant change to the U.S. patent system since 1952, and ...
|Nay||S. 3729 (111th): National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010|
Sep 29, 2010. Passed 304/118.
|No||H.Res. 801 (110th): Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 3688) to implement the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement.|
Nov 7, 2007. Passed 349/55.
|Nay||H.R. 1830 (110th): To extend the authorities of the Andean Trade Preference Act until February 29, 2008.|
Jun 27, 2007. Passed 365/59.
From Jan 2013 to Mar 2018, Baldwin missed 6 of 1,534 roll call votes, which is 0.4%. This is better than the median of 1.4% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.
Show the numbers...
|Time Period||Votes Eligible||Missed Votes||Percent||Percentile|
The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including:
Tammy Baldwin is pronounced:
TA-mee // BOLD-win
The letters stand for sounds according to the following table:
|Letter||Sounds As In|
Capital letters indicate a stressed syllable.