WASHINGTON -- Democratic leadership has given incoming Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) a prestigious position on the Senate Budget Committee, despite a Republican senator's initial skepticism over whether she has a handle on the federal budget.
On Wednesday, Senate Democrats announced committee assignments for the 113th Congress, with Baldwin getting a spot on the Budget Committee, among others.
Wisconsin's other senator, Republican Ron Johnson, currently sits on the Budget Committee, although Republicans have not yet announced their assignments for the next Congress.
In an interview with the Associated Press the day after Baldwin won her Senate race, Johnson expressed uncertainty about Baldwin's understanding of budgetary issues.
"Hopefully I can sit down and lay out for her my best understanding of the federal budget because they're simply the facts," said Johnson, who is ideologically on the opposite end of the spectrum from Baldwin. "Hopefully she'll agree with what the facts are and work toward common sense solutions."
But on Wednesday, he said in a statement to The Huffington Post that he was glad to hear about her appointment.
"I'm pleased that Senator Baldwin will be joining the Senate Budget Committee in the next Congress," Johnson said. "I'm looking forward to working with her to find solutions to the many challenges the nation faces."
In a follow-up interview to the senator's initial comments, Baldwin noted that she had double majored in mathematics and political science while in college and had served on the House Budget Committee for six years.
"And I am very confident that when proposals come before the U.S. Senate, I will be able to evaluate them as to how they benefit or harm middle-class Wisconsinites," she said. "A yardstick of 'does it create jobs,' 'does it lower the deficit' and 'does it help grow the middle class' is an important one. I'm quite confident that I have those abilities."
Baldwin's office did not return a request for additional comment.
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