WASHINGTON -- Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D), Wisconsin's new senator-elect, is confident that she will be able to understand the federal budget without the assistance of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).
In an Associated Press interview on Wednesday, Johnson said he hoped he would be able to work with Baldwin in the Senate -- as soon as he explained the "facts" of the budget to her.
"Hopefully I can sit down and lay out for her my best understanding of the federal budget because they're simply the facts," he said. "Hopefully she'll agree with what the facts are and work toward common sense solutions."
"I was a double major in college in mathematics and political science, and I served for six years on the House Budget Committee in my first six years in the House," Baldwin responded in an interview with The Huffington Post on Friday.
"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. 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," she added.
Baldwin has served in Congress since 1999; Johnson took office in 2011.
The congresswoman said she and Johnson have spoken since the election. "And I am confident that there will be issues in Wisconsin that we can work on, because there have been already in our two years overlapping," she said.
As the Wisconsin State Journal has noted, Johnson and Baldwin "represent near opposite ends of the political spectrum," with Johnson winning his Senate seat as part of the 2010 electoral surge of Tea Party-favored conservatives.
Baldwin will be the first woman senator from the state of Wisconsin and the first openly gay person in the U.S. Senate. She defeated the state's former Republican governor, Tommy Thompson, by approximately 6 percentage points on Tuesday.