Senate to Allow Breastfeeding Mothers to Bring Infants to Chamber Floor

Senate to Allow Breastfeeding Mothers to Bring Infants to Chamber Floor

Senator Tammy Duckworth has said parenthood isn't just a women's issue. In doing so, Duckworth became the first sitting Senator to be pregnant and have a child-a milestone that isn't without its challenges: Senators can not vote remotely, and Duckworth was concerned she might be kept out of the chamber because of Senate rules barring infants from the floor. Duckworth is the only senator with a child under 1 year old who might be able to take her child on the floor.

There was more, voiced privately, Klobuchar said - including whether Duckworth meant to change Maile's diaper or nurse her new baby on the Senate floor.

Still, her presence was felt. considering up until Wednesday, children of any age were not allowed to be on the Senate floor during votes.

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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.

As recently as 2009, the Senate swimming pool was male-only; it took an intervention from former senator Kay Hagan and senator Chuck Schumer to make the pool co-ed. Why?

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

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"I think we ought to accommodate people as much as we can", said Alabama Republican Richard Shelby ahead of the rule change. She also wanted bring her newborn daughter into the Senate during voting periods.

"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. Because of Senate rules, she couldn't hand her child to a staffer while she voted, nor could she bring him onto the Senate floor with her. Amy Klobuchar, the top Democrat on the Rules Committee, to approve the measure quickly and without opposition from any senators.

With 23 women now serving in the Senate, the issue quickly was resolved. "I think that the fact that coming to parliament with a breast-fed baby makes the news says a lot about this country", she said. Duckworth recently told What to Expect that her dream for every mom is "the ideal work-life balance for them and their family".

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Of course, some would argue that babies have always been allowed on the floor of the Senate, but those would be babies of the adult variety.

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