U.S. Senate approves resolution allowing Duckworth to bring baby onto Senate floor


Daily file photo by Sam Schumacher

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) speaks at an event. The Senate approved a resolution to allow senators to bring children under the age of one onto the Senate floor.

Syd Stone, City Editor

The U.S. Senate approved a resolution Wednesday allowing Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) to bring her baby onto the Senate floor.

Duckworth became the first sitting senator to give birth when her daughter, Maile Pearl Bowlsbey, was born on April 9.

The chamber cleared the resolution by unanimous consent on Wednesday, allowing Duckworth, or any other senator to bring a child under the age of one onto the floor during votes. The Senate had previously banned all children from entering the Senate floor.

“I would like to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle … for helping bring the Senate into the 21st century by recognizing that sometimes new parents also have responsibilities at work,” Duckworth said in a Wednesday news release. “The Senate is leading by example and sending the important message that working parents everywhere deserve family-friendly workplace policies. These policies aren’t just a women’s issue, they are a common-sense economic issue.”

Other lawmakers, including Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), publicly expressed support for sending a symbolic message that the Senate should make accommodations for working parents.

Durbin said in the Wednesday release that senators who are new mothers or fathers should not have to choose between caring for their children or “performing their constitutional duty.”

“Perhaps the cry of a baby will shock this Senate into speaking up and even crying out on the issues that confront our Nation and world,” Durbin said.

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