Sunday, 13 October, 2019

Tammy Duckworth applauds new rule letting senators bring babies to work

U.S. Senate votes to allow newborn children onto Senate Floor for first time Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Patty Aguilar | 19 April, 2018, 16:03

The Senate will soon vote on the Duckworth Resolution, which would allow children of Senators under the age of 1 to be brought to the floor with their parents.

There are a whole host of Senate rules that would make voting hard for a senator while caring for her baby - being unable to hand the baby off to a staffer, being unable to bring a child onto the floor and being unable to vote via proxy.

The move came a week after Tammy Duckworth, 50, became the first sitting United States senator to give birth while in office.

"We want more women in the Senate who are having children", Klobuchar said over the phone.

The vote to change the rules was unanimous, although some senators had previously expressed reservations, out of concern babies would disrupt "Senate decorum". Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from IL, who gave birth on April 9, to her daughter, Maile Pearl Bowlsbey, and by doing so, became the first sitting senator to give birth while in office (and one of only 10 women in Congress, ever).

"Today we officially say to Maile Pearl Bowlsbey welcome to the world and welcome to the United States Senate", said Sen.

The measure jetted out of the Senate Rules Committee under the leadership of the Chairman, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., ranking member of the committee.

Would the dress code of the Senate apply to the baby?

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In thanking colleagues from both parties Duckworth said in a statement, "By ensuring that no Senator will be prevented from performing their constitutional responsibilities simply because they have a young child, the Senate is leading by example and sending the important message that working parents everywhere deserve family-friendly workplace policies". Duckworth's pregnancy highlighted the complexities Senate rules pose for new parents.

"I think we ought to accommodate people as much as we can", said Alabama Republican Richard Shelby ahead of the rule change. "I congratulate Sen. Duckworth and her family, and look forward to meeting her daughter".

Could she just vote from the back where the cloakroom is?

Blunt said he had been working with Minnesota Sen.

Will she change the baby's diaper on the floor?

Klobuchar said it's well past time for the Senate to change its rules once again.

"The Senate is steeped in tradition and just like the rest of the country, sometimes things have to change", she said.

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