Senate's 'first baby' on hand for confirmation vote

FEB. 14 2018 FILE

The Democratic senator from IL, who also served in the Iraq War and lost both legs in combat, is the first sitting senator to give birth while in office. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) underlining the significance and potential downstream positive effect of the rule change: "Senators who are new mothers or fathers should not have to choose between caring for infants and performing their Constitutional duty". Tammy Duckworth who petitioned for the change so that she could breastfeed her newborn daughter on the Senate Floor.

But he pointed out that Senators can vote from inside the door of the cloakroom, just off the Senate chamber. As such, without the new rule in place, it would have been more hard for Duckworth to do her job. The double amputee, in a wheelchair with Maile, pronounced MAY-lee, in her lap, was on the floor for less than three minutes before they took off.

In a rare move, the US Senate has voted unanimously to allow the babies of its members into the chamber.

"There haven't been a lot of moms bringing little babies on the floor in the Senate in the past because there haven't been moms having babies in the Senate in the past", Blunt told reporters on Tuesday. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn, doesn't think so.

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"Parenthood isn't just a women's issue, it's an economic issue and one that affects all parents - men and women alike", Duckworth said in a statement after the birth of her second child.

Given that senators often need to be on the floor to vote late at night or take multiple 15-minute votes back to back, the rule change simply makes sense from a logistical standpoint.

Women continue to be vastly underrepresented in the Senate, but this is a step in the right direction. Klobuchar said of the baby, proving that even in the midst of change, some Senate traditions remain alive and well. "I'm not sure what the policy is on duckling onesies, but I think we're ready", Duckworth tweeted of the look. Not because I have a problem with babies at the workplace, but because I have issues with Duckworth potentially being able to weaponize that baby to affect legislative decision making.

On Twitter, Duckworth said she made her newborn, Maile, had a jacket "so she doesn't violate the Senate floor dress code (which requires blazers)". Utah Republican Orrin Hatch asked, "What if there are 10 babies on the floor of the Senate?"

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