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U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin: I’m shutting down, too

By   /   October 1, 2013  /   News  /   21 Comments

Part 18 of 51 in the series Shutdown 2013

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.

AP file photo

FAREWELL, TAMMY: U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin says she is closing down her offices during the government shutdown. She appears to be the only member of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation doing so.

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 [email protected]

Part of 51 in the series Shutdown 2013
  1. Shutdown plan: Virginia will carry federally funded state workers until Oct. 4
  2. OKC National Memorial and Museum will stay open regardless of federal shutdown
  3. TN rep equates looming government shutdown with hostage crisis
  4. Government shutdown won’t shut down NSA spying
  5. 7 myths about a federal government shutdown
  6. Obamacare goes full-speed ahead as military pay enters uncharted waters
  7. Shutdown sparks New Jersey confusion about Obamacare
  8. Federal shutdown could furlough 57,000 Virginians
  9. ‘Business as usual’ for PA state government as feds prepare for shutdown
  10. Union plans rally as MN braces for federal shutdown
  11. Only government you don’t know about could go away in Illinois
  12. Shutdown? NM seems OK on the state level, but federal workers will feel the pinch
  13. WI congressional delegation soldiers on in Obamacare-shutdown battle
  14. Shutdown? What shutdown? States will carry on despite impasse in Washington
  15. McAuliffe tries to ride shutdown to victory in November
  16. NM delegation on gov’t shutdown: It’s the other side’s fault
  17. Panda Cam goes dark as government shutdown cripples cute
  18. U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin: I’m shutting down, too
  19. Missouri’s Wagner declines congressional pay during shutdown
  20. GIs take first battle of government shutdown
  21. The horror: Shutdown delays pro-Obamacare video contest
  22. Obamacare device tax ‘devastating’ to TN manufacturers
  23. Did The New Republic call for Obama to dissolve Congress?
  24. 4 reasons to cross the Potomac during the shutdown
  25. Are furloughed park employees trying to pick a fight on Facebook?
  26. Shutdown is ‘boom time’ for political fundraising
  27. Sorry Yogi: Reid calls move to open parks a ‘wacky idea’
  28. World War II vets 90, government shutdown 0
  29. Shutdown shouldn’t alter NM oil and gas bottom line
  30. FL tourism industry is magic, shutdown or not
  31. Fed shutdown leaves Americans stranded abroad
  32. Government shutdown brings relief to Main Street
  33. GOP’s Johanns: People mad, feel ‘duped’ into believing government shutdown would stop ObamaCare
  34. Chris Matthews’ weak grasp of government shutdown history
  35. U.S. senator turns total shutdown into partial shutdown
  36. Fed shutdown grounds plan to airdrop possibly harmful substance on TN land
  37. Ohio vets ready to storm World War II Memorial
  38. Some states battling with feds to keep parks, landmarks open during shutdown
  39. Federal tourist blockades called ‘vindictive’ in Virginia
  40. Veterans’ day: Ohio vets conquer World War II Memorial during government shutdown
  41. E-Verify: Is Obama happy to see right-to-work database go?
  42. Two battlefields raise the question: Who maintains Civil War sites?
  43. Contradictions abound in federal shutdown policy
  44. Park Service losing $76 million a day in shutdown
  45. Nebraska federal judge tells Congress to ‘go to hell’
  46. Shutdown renews call to move western forests, parks under state control
  47. How to make NM less vulnerable to federal gov’t shutdowns
  48. Are senators playing selective service in shutdown politics?
  49. Double dipping: Shutdown means double pay for Oregon federal workers
  50. No double dipping for furloughed federal workers in Virginia
  51. Not so fast: Federal workers in Wisconsin must repay unemployment benefits


M.D. Kittle is bureau chief of Wisconsin Watchdog and First Amendment Reporter for Watchdog.org. Kittle is a 25-year veteran of print, broadcast and online media. He is the recipient of several awards for journalism excellence from The Associated Press, Inland Press, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, and others. He is also a member of Investigative Reporters & Editors. Kittle's extensive series on Wisconsin's unconstitutional John Doe investigations was the basis of a 2014 documentary on Glenn Beck's TheBlaze. His work has been featured in Town Hall, Fox News, NewsMax, and other national publications, and his reporting has been cited by news outlets nationwide. Kittle is a fill-in talk show host on the Jay Weber Show and the Vicki McKenna Show in Milwaukee and Madison.

  • Valerie Eisner

    Go figure..she is a POS. U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican, has kept his offices open, to make sure we are able to respond to any emergency constituents may have. Now there is a man who cares about his job.

  • Wayne

    Come on Tammy , Ron Johnson’s office is OPEN!!!!

  • Franseenit

    Except that Ron Johnson NEVER acknowledges e-mails with a carefully considered response – he is BOILERPLATE KING! No point in keeping your office open for that Ronnie….

  • Franseenit

    In a vacuum as usual….

  • fjelly

    That’s not been my experience. I’ve always gotten a thoughtful response to every email I’ve sent to Sen. Johnson’s office.

  • David Munson

    Here in Wisconsin, we won’t notice Tammy Baldwin’s offices being shut down. She is pretty much useless, except to be a rubber stamp for every Democratic proposal that comes along! Good Riddance Tammy!!

  • Edward Perkins

    This is one MORE WAY for Sen. Tammy Baldwin and the Dem’s to say “the evil Republicans” made this happen – what pure crap! Sen. Baldwin is despicable in her actions, shows no concern for her constituents and I’m sure is happy to do what she is doing. She is probably playing golf with ??

  • Edward Perkins

    I couldn’t disagree more! I have had many responses NOT boilerplate ones from Sen. Johnson. Are you sure you are sending them to Sen. Ron Johnson? He is one of the best Senators in the Senate!

  • Charles Hagen



  • fjelly

    I’m not surprised by Tammy Baldwin’s decision to shut down her office. It speaks volumes about her priorities – i.e not service to her constituents, but rather political grandstanding.

  • IJR

    I have to say I’ve emailed all of the Representatives that I fall under the jurisdiction of, and the only one who responded to what the email was actually about was Reid Ribble. Tammy Baldwin never responded at all Ron Johnson addressed the first example I gave (it was clear his people never read the whole thing) and Kind addressed the easiest one for him to oppose me on.

  • suzy2

    I agree with the majority. Tammy, PLEASE stay home. Show us all how much you care.

  • Arvee

    She gets her orders from whomever orders BO

  • Lowell Tietyen

    probably out trolling for a wife!

  • Lowell Tietyen

    tammy dosen’t have the balls to stay open..

  • xt

    I’m sure she has decided not to take her paycheck also.
    If we are lucky she will crawl into the hole she came from and never return.

  • [email protected] Tim

    So being her office is closed it’s just like basically being open. Nothing gets done

  • cheezhead

    I certainly hope she is returning her salary as well since it is not being withheld during the shutdown.

  • cheezhead

    But this is how we do things in Wisconsin. If the democrats don’t like something, they just leave.

  • ConLawyer

    Tammy’s following her comrade from MO, Claire Bear McCaskill. I strongly encourage this – when these fools are absent, e.g. not expanding the tyrannical reach of the national government, I feel more secure.

  • Tom B.

    Six days and counting… By now the whole State knows there are no “federal law(s) and Senate rules” that require her to close her offices. So SHE LIED. And then she unilaterally withdrew from representing the citizens of Wisconsin – so now we are only represented at the 50% level! (Hey Tammy, if ya’ don’t want the job, just resign.) Don’t forget, the citizens of THIS State are relatively experienced in the art of The Recall.

    Tom B.