Babies Now Permitted on US Senate Floor

20 Abril, 2018, 02:15 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • U.S. Senate votes to allow newborn children onto Senate Floor for first time

The historic mother-daughter arrival was made possible by a change in Senate rules late on Wednesday, enabling young children of senators to be brought onto the floor of the chamber during votes. The rule change comes after Illinois Democrat Tammy Duckworth became the first USA senator to give birth while in office. She told POLITICO before Maile Pearl Bowlsbey was born that she planned to take an unofficial maternity leave but would return to the Senate when her vote was needed. She is now on a brief maternity leave, according to National Public Radio.

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. Seeing that the Senate wants to make it easier for new moms to simultaneously care of their newborns and represent their constituents will hopefully help usher in more gender-balanced representation. Its passage without objection came despite plenty of concern, some privately aired, among senators of both parties about the threat the tiny humans pose to the Senate's cherished decorum.

Australian Senator Larissa Waters took her seat in Parliament past year and voted on legislation in May. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., father of three and grandfather of six. The Republican-controlled Senate held the vote open so Duckworth and Maile could adhere to the new rule.

The Senate chamber became one of the most exclusive clubs in the 1800s, when senators complained about too many people hanging out on the floor.

Ms Duckworth shared a photo of her daughter's outfit options on Twitter.

"Why would I object to it?" Sen. Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran and double-amputee, arrived in a wheelchair with Maile on her lap, voted no with a downturned thumb, and laughed. "I've done it", he said.

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Senate rules committee chairman Roy Blunt said being a parent was a difficult job and Senate rules shouldn't make it any harder. "We strongly believe.that it should be a permanent rules change".

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.

"But what if there are 10 babies on the floor of the Senate?" he asked, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Klobuchar answered that having ten babies on the floor "would be a delight".

The average age of senators is over 60.



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