Quick Facts & Links:

Hometown
Madison, WI
Birthday
February 11, 1962
Education
Madison West High
Smith College
UW-Madison Law
Twitter
@SenatorBaldwin
Facebook
/SenatorTammyBaldwin
Official Portrait
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Baby Picture
Tammy Baldwin has committed her life’s work to public service, fighting for fairness, equality and opportunity because she believes that with each passing year and each generation, our country must become more equal – not less.

Born and Raised in Wisconsin

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Tammy Baldwin was born in Madison, Wisconsin and raised by her grandparents in the Badger State. Her grandfather was a scientist at the University of Wisconsin and her grandmother was a gifted artist and seamstress who became chief costumer of the UW Theater Department.  

When Tammy was nine years old, she was diagnosed with a serious childhood illness similar to spinal meningitis.  She spent three months in the hospital.

Her grandparents had health insurance, but they weren’t allowed to list Tammy as a dependent.  Their insurance wouldn’t cover her care. They were forced to make great sacrifices to pay for Tammy’s health care.
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Tammy got better, and her grandparents looked for an insurance policy that would cover her in the future.  But they discovered that, because of her previous illness, they couldn’t find such a policy. Not from any insurer.  Not at any price. Tammy had been branded with the words “pre-existing condition.”  

Now, because of the Affordable Care Act, championed by Tammy in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate, children have protections that they didn’t have before and can’t be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

As her grandmother grew older, Tammy served as her grandmother’s primary caregiver – an extremely rewarding, but also challenging responsibility. Growing up in a grandfamily and being a caregiver shaped Tammy’s future in public service, as she led the bipartisan effort to support family caregivers by sponsoring and passing the RAISE Family Caregivers Act in the Senate.

A Commitment to Public Service

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Tammy graduated from Madison West High School and went on to double-major in political science and mathematics at Smith College. In 1989, she received her law degree from UW-Madison.  

In 1986, while in law school, she served on the Madison Common Council, filling an aldermanic vacancy.  Tammy was elected to four terms (1986-1994) on the Dane County Board of Supervisors.  In 1992, Tammy was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly as a State Representative for the 78th District, serving three terms.
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In 1998, Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District shattered the state’s glass ceiling and elected Tammy as the state’s first female member of Congress and the nation’s first openly gay challenger sent to Congress. She served seven terms in the House of Representatives, serving on the Budget Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and the Energy and Commerce Committee.  

Shortly after Tammy was first elected to Congress, she voted against letting Wall Street and the big banks write their own rules — one of only a handful of members of Congress who voted no on repealing the Glass-Steagall Act.  

As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Tammy was a champion of middle class economic security. She helped craft the landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, leading the effort to include the provision that now allows young people to remain on their parents’ insurance plans up to age 26. She was the lead sponsor of the Buffett Rule to ensure tax fairness, fought for student loan reforms to make higher education accessible and affordable and developed a strong record of fighting against unfair trade deals that have shipped American jobs overseas. 

In the Senate

Tammy was elected to the U.S. Senate on November 6, 2012, winning a hard fought race and making history as Wisconsin’s first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate and the first openly gay member elected to the Senate.

In the Senate, Senator Baldwin is committed to working across party lines to strengthen the essential pillars of economic security for the middle class - investments in education and workforce readiness, quality health care for all Americans, building a strong manufacturing economy, and ensuring retirement security for today’s seniors and future generations. 
Senator Baldwin has made addressing the student debt crisis and college affordability a top priority, leading many efforts and introducing legislation to meet problems with solutions. She is a lead cosponsor of the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would allow struggling borrowers to refinance their student loans and take advantage of lower interest rates – the same way people refinance a mortgage, a car loan or business debt. And after holding roundtables with students and recent graduates struggling with the cost of a higher education, Senator Baldwin introduced the America’s College Promise Act, the Working Student Act, and spearheaded the bipartisan Senate effort to save the federal Perkins loans aid program for low-income students. In 2016, Senator Baldwin introduced the In The Red Act, a major reform to address college affordability and put America on a path toward debt-free college. The legislation will allow student loan borrowers to refinance outstanding debt at lower rates, increase Pell Grants to keep pace with rising costs and make a new investment in community college.  

As a co-chair of the bipartisan Career and Technical Education Caucus (CTE), Senator Baldwin has worked across the aisle to introduce reforms that prioritize CTE, STEM education, and offer stronger support for workforce readiness programs.  

Senator Baldwin believes that more must be done to build an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few. Tammy has worked to strengthen our manufacturing economy and is a leader in the Senate of the Manufacturing Jobs for America campaign to rally bipartisan support for legislation that would help manufacturers grow and create jobs.

In the proud tradition of Wisconsin’s state motto, Forward, she has shown a strong commitment to investing in innovation, science, research and technology so we create stronger growth in advanced manufacturing, small business start-ups and an innovative economy that is built to last and ready to compete with the rest of the world and win.

Senator Baldwin has worked to ensure Washington does more to respect hard work, invest in economic growth, and give the middle class a fair shot at getting ahead. At a time when too many Wall Street millionaires pay a lower effective tax rate than some truck drivers, teachers and nurses, Senator Baldwin has introduced legislation to eliminate the carried interest tax loophole for hedge fund managers on Wall Street and make sure those at the top are paying their fair share.

Throughout her career in public service, Tammy has a strong record of working hard for Wisconsin’s veterans — making sure their service and sacrifice is honored by providing adequate funding for veterans’ health, education, and job-training programs. 

In the Senate she has worked across the aisle, to ensure that our veterans, military families and wounded warriors receive the support and care that they have earned and deserve. The Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act, bipartisan legislation authored by Senator Baldwin in close consultation with medical professionals, veteran’s service organizations, and the Simcakoski family, focuses on providing safer and more effective pain management services to our nation’s veterans.

Senator Baldwin serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.