Tammy Baldwin

 

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.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.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. 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.

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