This Is How a ‘Radical Lesbian’ Won

Tammy Baldwin was called a “radical lesbian” in her quest for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Turns out Wisconsin voters didn't take the bait.

BY Diane Anderson-Minshall

November 06 2012 11:30 PM ET UPDATED: November 06 2012 11:27 PM ET

 

Medicare and Social Security

Raised by her grandparents, Baldwin is a staunch proponent of Medicare and Social Security and opposes Republican attempts to cut or privatize either.  She opposes the Paul Ryan budget plan, which turns Medicare into a voucher system for some future seniors. Baldwin says it “would end Medicare, as we know it, while giving tax breaks to the wealthiest people in the country.”

 

Health Care

- She lobbied for the passage of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, and she authored the provision that allowed young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26.

- She voted against a ban on so-called partial-birth abortions.

- She authored a 2007 measure reauthorizing funding for screenings and other services related to breast and cervical cancer.

- She authored a resolution in 2007 that made it easier for veterans to quality for disability coverage if they have service-related vision impairments.

 

LGBT Equality

Baldwin’s home state of Wisconsin was the first in the country to adopt a comprehensive law to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, something Baldwin takes as a sign of her constituency’s welcoming attitude. Baldwin was a founding member of the LGBT Equality Caucus in Congress, and she’s been a strong advocate for preventing bullying and suicide among LGBT youth.

- She worked on the Matthew Shepherd and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Act, which expands federal hate-crimes law to include attacks based on victims’ actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

- In 2009 she introduced the Respect for Marriage Act “in order to uphold the principle that the federal government should not deny gay and lesbian couples the same rights and legal protections as straight couples, repealing DOMA.”

- She was a lead sponsor of the 2010 repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

- She is a sponsor of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act to expand antidiscrimination employment laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

- She supports including college students, Native Americans, immigrants, and LGBT individuals in the Violence Against Women Act to protect all victims of domestic violence.

 

Education

- Baldwin supported emergency K-12 funding included in the Recovery Act.

- She voted in favor of No Child Left Behind.

- She voted in favor of reauthorizing the Higher Education Act and doubling the maximum number of Pell Grants.

- She voted for President Obama’s Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act.

 

Foreign Policy

Baldwin has voted for sanctions against Iran twice and against them four times. In 2007 she voted “present” (basically a neutral vote) on a resolution that condemned Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, she worried that then President George W. Bush would have used the resolution as a pretext to go to war with Iran. 

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