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Thursday, October 3, 2013

 9:41 AM 

Baldwin, Johnson limit office operations during shutdown

The offices of the state's two U.S. senators have limited operations due to the partial government shutdown.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin's offices are operating at a "limited capacity" but remain open, a spokesman said today.

Baldwin, D-Madison, posted a message on her official Senate website Tuesday that the office was closed due to the shutdown. Those who clicked on the contact link for her site saw a message stating her offices are closed and the phones would not be answered, emails and letters would not receive a response until after the shutdown was over, and "My staff will be unable to assist you during the shutdown."

Those messages have since been updated to state her website and Senate offices have been "shut down and operate at limited capacity" and that "we are doing our best to answer phone calls."

A spokesman said the office actually began operating with a skeleton staff yesterday and is now "making that clear."

While Senate staffers have been furloughed, Baldwin still has a "bare bones staff" to work through the shutdown at her offices in Madison, Milwaukee and Washington, D.C., her office said today. Constituents can still call or email the senator, and requests for assistance are being monitored for "emergency needs." Other inquiries will be addressed once the shutdown ends.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson's offices have also been operating with limited staff during the shutdown. His office released a statement Wednesday that he will have one staff member in each of his Milwaukee and Oshkosh offices, and a few staff in Washington.

"Members of Congress are allowed to delegate a number of their staff as essential to work during the shutdown - Senator Johnson chose to make sure his staff is available to attend to his constitutional duties and respond to his constituents during this time," his office said.


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