Get To Know Tammy Baldwin

August 1, 2020

Tammy Baldwin

In November 2012, Tammy Baldwin made history twice in one night: She became the first openly gay person, and the first woman from Wisconsin, elected to the U.S. Senate. At the time, Baldwin said she ran to “make a difference,” not to make history, but she knew her win meant something. “Having a seat at the table matters and I think we will see a Senate that is more reflective of America. We’re certainly not there yet, but this will be a change that moves us forward,” she told CNN. 

Before being elected to the U.S. Senate, Baldwin represented Wisconsin’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1999 to 2013. Before that, she was a member of the Wisconsin Assembly from 1993 to 1999 and was a Dane Count supervisor from 1986 to 1994. 

In the Senate, she has:

  • Focused on supporting veterans’ families and has worked across the aisle to promote and pass legislation such as The Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act, which was signed into law in 2016. The bill’s funds supported opioid treatment and prevention to support service people at U.S. Department of Affairs facilities. 
  • Been among the senators to push for the Vote by Mail Act of 2019 which would allow all Americans to vote by mail in federal elections. She introduced the bill, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and more. In 2020, she further pushed legislation to expand vote-by-mail and early voting during the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Introduced the Masks for All Act in July 2020 to provide Americans with reusable masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. “If the government is going to tell Americans to wear face coverings in public, we should provide masks to taxpayers at no cost,” she said when introducing the bill. “This isn’t a political issue, it’s a public health issue.”
  • Helped introduce the 2019 Women’s Health Protection Act, which would stop state anti-choice laws. “Right now in states across this country, Roe v. Wade is under attack and millions of women are at risk of losing the freedom to make their own personal health decisions,” she said at the time. “Every woman, regardless of where she lives, deserves the freedom to make her own, personal decisions about her health care, her family and her body.” The bill has not yet been signed into law. 

If Biden chooses Baldwin as his vice presidential candidate, she could become the first openly gay vice presidential candidate. “Were he to ask me to be his vice president, I would surely say yes,” Baldwin told Milwaukee’s NBC affiliate WTMJ in June. “But I will keep my conversations in confidence. We just need to win.”