Published: Fri, April 20, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Thanks to Tammy Duckworth, the Senate Just Made a Historic Change

Thanks to Tammy Duckworth, the Senate Just Made a Historic Change

Tammy spearheaded the initiative, not wanting to be away from her baby girl, but still seeking to carry out her duty as Illinois' duly elected Senator.

"Why would I object to it?" Sen.

"Yes, you can vote from the doorway of the cloakroom, but how is she going to get to the cloakroom when it's not wheelchair accessible?" she asked.

Teleworking is not an option in the Senate, which requires members to vote in person.

Maile Pearl Bowlsbey is just over a week old and already she's helping force more change in the Senate than most seasoned lawmakers can even dream. Pat Roberts, (R-Kan.) told the AP. The rule change, voted through by unanimous consent, was done to accommodate senators with newborn babies, allowing them now to be able to bring a child under 1-year-old onto the Senate floor and breastfeed them during votes. James Lankford (R-Okla.) explained that "originally, [the rule] was created to not slow down debate".

At one point, Klobuchar looked emotional while she was grinning looking at Duckworth and her newborn baby.

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., is enthusiastically supportive of babies on the floor, calling them an excellent distraction. And besides, if more babies were in the Senate chamber, that means younger senators (particularly young mothers) are most likely entering the legislative body, which means more representation for American women, parents, and young voters in their 20s and 30s.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, the father of six, grandfather of 14 and great-grandfather of 23, said he had "no problem" with such a rules change.

"We could only wish we had 10 babies on the floor", Klobuchar fired back.

Sen. Klobuchar says she spent almost two months privately reassuring Republicans and Democrats that the new rule would not mean diaper-changing or nursing in the Senate chamber.

Although senators had a lot of questions regarding the implications of the new rule, such as whether diapers would be changed on the floor, they ultimately saw the value in the decision.

"Every day moms and dads balance being great parents and successful professionals, and workplaces need to recognize that reality", said Rules Committee Ranking Member Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

The rule had passed without objection - but there had been plenty of grumbling about babies threatening the Senate's cherished decorum. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) quipped, the Tribune reports.

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