By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter
MADISON – When it comes to a government shutdown, Wisconsin’s U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin doesn’t mess around.
The Madison Democrat is taking her ball and going home.
Baldwin announced on her U.S. Senate website Tuesday morning that her offices are closed for business.
“Due to a lapse in government funding, federal law and Senate rules require that my website and Senate offices shut down,” Baldwin states.
What does that mean?
- Her offices are closed and phones will not be answered.
- Emails sent to individual staff members will be responded to at the conclusion of the shutdown.
- Letters and emails sent to the senator will receive a response when her office is opened.
- Baldwin’s staff will be unable to assist you during the shutdown.
Interesting, this law and these rules. Her Wisconsin Senate colleague, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican, has kept his offices open, although with bare bones staffing. In fact, all of Wisconsin’s congressional delegations have maintained at least limited constituent services on the first day of what really is a partial government shutdown.
“Maybe she is interpreting it slightly different than I am,” Johnson said of Baldwin’s decision to shut down.
“I want to make sure we are able to respond to any emergency constituents may have, so we are maintaining bare-bones staff to answer phones, to handle press and to schedule for me,” the senator told Wisconsin Reporter, adding that his Senate colleague is entitled to run her office “the way she sees fit.”
According to Johnson’s office and other congressional sources, each member of Congress may determine who is essential staff to maintain basic services. Johnson’s offices in Milwaukee and Oshkosh also remain open, with bare bones staffing.
That appears to be the case for the rest of Wisconsin’s congressional delegations. Staff members say the offices are functioning, if on a very limited basis. You’re more likely to get a voicemail message begging for your patience.
A staff member in U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore’s Milwaukee office tells Wisconsin Reporter the Democrat felt it important to remain open Tuesday, the first day of open enrollment in the Obamacare health insurance exchanges. The Milwaukee congresswoman expected a lot of questions, according to the staffer.
Late Tuesday morning, Baldwin updated her Senate website. Her offices still are closed for business, but the freshened up website now includes a plethora of information on signing up for Obamacare, beneath a photo of the senator sharing a laugh with medical staff.
Baldwin, in the statement, apologizes for the inconvenience and says she looks forward to opening her offices and website as soon as possible.
“Although my office is currently shut down, I will be sure to respond to any inquiries as soon as my office is able to open,” the senator says.
Contact M.D. Kittle at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shutdown plan: Virginia will carry federally funded state workers until Oct. 4
- OKC National Memorial and Museum will stay open regardless of federal shutdown
- TN rep equates looming government shutdown with hostage crisis
- Government shutdown won’t shut down NSA spying
- 7 myths about a federal government shutdown
- Obamacare goes full-speed ahead as military pay enters uncharted waters
- Shutdown sparks New Jersey confusion about Obamacare
- Federal shutdown could furlough 57,000 Virginians
- ‘Business as usual’ for PA state government as feds prepare for shutdown
- Union plans rally as MN braces for federal shutdown
- Only government you don’t know about could go away in Illinois
- Shutdown? NM seems OK on the state level, but federal workers will feel the pinch
- WI congressional delegation soldiers on in Obamacare-shutdown battle
- Shutdown? What shutdown? States will carry on despite impasse in Washington
- McAuliffe tries to ride shutdown to victory in November
- NM delegation on gov’t shutdown: It’s the other side’s fault
- Panda Cam goes dark as government shutdown cripples cute
- U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin: I’m shutting down, too
- Missouri’s Wagner declines congressional pay during shutdown
- GIs take first battle of government shutdown
- The horror: Shutdown delays pro-Obamacare video contest
- Obamacare device tax ‘devastating’ to TN manufacturers
- Did The New Republic call for Obama to dissolve Congress?
- 4 reasons to cross the Potomac during the shutdown
- Are furloughed park employees trying to pick a fight on Facebook?
- Shutdown is ‘boom time’ for political fundraising
- Sorry Yogi: Reid calls move to open parks a ‘wacky idea’
- World War II vets 90, government shutdown 0
- Shutdown shouldn’t alter NM oil and gas bottom line
- FL tourism industry is magic, shutdown or not
- Fed shutdown leaves Americans stranded abroad
- Government shutdown brings relief to Main Street
- GOP’s Johanns: People mad, feel ‘duped’ into believing government shutdown would stop ObamaCare
- Chris Matthews’ weak grasp of government shutdown history
- U.S. senator turns total shutdown into partial shutdown
- Fed shutdown grounds plan to airdrop possibly harmful substance on TN land
- Ohio vets ready to storm World War II Memorial
- Some states battling with feds to keep parks, landmarks open during shutdown
- Federal tourist blockades called ‘vindictive’ in Virginia
- Veterans’ day: Ohio vets conquer World War II Memorial during government shutdown
- E-Verify: Is Obama happy to see right-to-work database go?
- Two battlefields raise the question: Who maintains Civil War sites?
- Contradictions abound in federal shutdown policy
- Park Service losing $76 million a day in shutdown
- Nebraska federal judge tells Congress to ‘go to hell’
- Shutdown renews call to move western forests, parks under state control
- How to make NM less vulnerable to federal gov’t shutdowns
- Are senators playing selective service in shutdown politics?
- Double dipping: Shutdown means double pay for Oregon federal workers
- No double dipping for furloughed federal workers in Virginia
- Not so fast: Federal workers in Wisconsin must repay unemployment benefits