Senator and newborn daughter make Senate history

FEB. 14 2018 FILE

Although she's the only mom of a newborn in the U.S. Senate, with hope, this rule change will have a reverberating effect that makes Sen.

Some senators also asked whether a staffer could hold the baby while Duckworth votes, but conflict of interest rules prevent her from having federal employees babysit her child. She is now on a brief maternity leave, according to National Public Radio.

The request to change Senate rules was made by Sen. But when it actually happened, even stern Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared to beam. (Until then, children and family members of Senators remain completely barred). "I'm glad we were able to get this done to address the needs of parents in the Senate".

Speaker Paul Ryan announced a year ago he would change the dress code after a reporter was denied access to a room because she had on a sleeveless dress. Or wear the Senate pin?

Duckworth tweeted Thursday morning that she was due back into the Senate for a vote on the confirmation of NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.

Senators didn't dare come out against babies. 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. Amy Klobuchar told Slate. The discussion, though, she said, "has been going on for weeks".

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This was a frequent question, Klobuchar noted. If she took a formal maternity leave, she wouldn't be allowed to introduce legislation or have her say on bills, The Washington Post reported. "I made sure she has a jacket so she doesn't violate Senate floor dress code (which requires blazers). I think it's awesome", Duckworth said.

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

"We have plenty of babies on the floor", joked Sen.

What if the baby cries?

Most senators, though, have been supportive, Klobuchar said.

"We could only wish we had 10 babies on the floor".

As of now, the new rule marks only a baby step. According to CNN, Duckworth had been working behind the scenes for some time on the matter; the last time additional floor privileges were granted was in 1977, allowing service dogs on the floor. 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". "We wanted it to be permanent and she wanted it to be permanent, so it would help other women", and particularly encourage people with children, and women of child-bearing age, to join the Senate.

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