As the 113th Congress begins this year's session, Wisconsinites will have a new U.S. senator in Tammy Baldwin.
Baldwin, a Democrat, was sworn in Thursday during the first Senate session of the year. After seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Baldwin's ascendance to the Senate marks Wisconsin's first female senator and the country's first openly gay senator.
The 113th Congress includes a record number of women, along with the country's first Buddhist senator, first Hindu representative and first bisexual member of Congress, according to the New York Times.
According to her U.S. Senate page, Baldwin serves on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), the Senate Budget Committee, and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. She also serves on the Senate Special Committee on Aging.
Baldwin will replace Democratic U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, who has represented Wisconsin since 1989. She will represent Wisconsin alongside Republican Sen. Ron Johnson.
Johnson and Kohl both escorted Baldwin into the chamber to take the oath of office Thursday, according to the Huffington Post. She also ran into Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, who gave her a hug and congratulated her on her new position.
The two Wisconsin senators have also announced a friendly wager with Minnesota Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar over this Saturday’s Packers-Vikings playoff game, according to a report in the Sawyer County Record. As part of the wager, the losing team's senators have pledged to buy the other team's senators a case of beer from their home state.
“This has been an exciting week,” Baldwin said. ”but it’s only going to get better when the Packers beat the Vikings and put an end to this trash talking from my Minnesota colleagues.”
Sen. Baldwin's staff can be reached locally at 14 West Mifflin Street, Suite 207, Madison, WI 53703 or by phone at 608-264-5338. Her Washington staff can be reached at 1 Russell Courtyard, Washington, DC 20510 or by phone at 202-224-5653.