Baldwin makes first stop as senator

TOWN OF MENASHA — Tammy Baldwin made her first appearance in Northeast Wisconsin Tuesday as a United States senator.

The Democrat stopped at Pierce Manufacturing in the town of Menasha in the morning. She also appeared in downtown Oshkosh and at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in the afternoon.

Baldwin and Republican Senator Ron Johnson say when the Senate convenes next week members will face a host of issues important to the people of Wisconsin.

Pierce Manufacturing has a worldwide reputation for building quality fire trucks. Just the type of good paying jobs Baldwin says she wants to see stay and grow here in Wisconsin.

"Make sure that we do have a made in America economy, up front and center, that our focus is on continuing to grow the economy," Baldwin said.

Fellow Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican, agrees creating jobs is a critical task.

"Economic growth is the number one component to solving our debt and deficit issues," Johnson said.

But before any talk of job creation, Congress must first tackle the debt ceiling. An issue Baldwin and Johnson say needs to be addressed, although they have differing ideas of how to accomplish it.

"The Senate should pass a plan that shows the American people how we can bring our nation's books into balance in a reasonable amount of time so that we can stabilize our debt," Johnson said.

But Baldwin the issue is too serious to play hardball with.

"We should never gamble with our nation's credit rating by playing political games," Baldwin said.

One area where both senators agree changes could be coming is in federal gun control laws. Both say they are firm believers in the second amendment. But Baldwin says that amendment to the constitution leaves room for interpretation.

"We can't compromise our second amendment rights, but I believe the second amendment is entirely consistent with prudent safety measures," Baldwin said.

While Johnson says more laws won't solve issues with gun violence.

"I'm not thoroughly convinced that a proposal that has been crafted in a week's worth of meetings is the type of thoughtful conversation that we need to have," Johnson said.

All topics taking center stage in Washington while their impacts will be felt right here in Northeast Wisconsin.

Wednesday both President Obama and Vice President Biden are expected to unveil new proposals aimed at reducing gun violence.

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Wisconsin (change)

 
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Wisconsin’s population totaled 5,686,986, a 6.0% increase over the 2000 U.S. Census count of 5,363,715. (Source: Wisconsin Blue Book)
 
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Governor: Scott Walker
Lieutenant Governor: Rebecca Kleefisch
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