Senator's baby makes history by showing up for a vote

Lucy Bush
April 21, 2018

So as the Senate gains more women - 23 now - and members under 50 begin to flex their power, divisions on matters like tradition, technology and gender can become inflamed.

The inspiration for the historic change of rules was Sen.

"You are not allowed to bring children onto the floor of the Senate at all", Duckworth told Politico in February.

Newborn babies will be allowed on the Senate floor, following a request from Sen. But the Senate requires voting to be done in person.

Video of the moment shows Duckworth arriving on the floor to applause from her colleagues.

Duckworth - who just gave birth earlier this month - wheeled herself onto the Senate floor Thursday in D.C., where she cast a vote on the confirmation of a new NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine. "May have to vote today", the senator and proud mom wrote.

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The proposal, which could get a vote this week, marks another moment for an institution that, at times, seems to relish its resistance to change. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., father of three and grandfather of six.

"I've done it", he said about the cloakroom. The baby will also not have to wear an official United States Senate lapel pin, and onesies will be allowed, she said. James Lankford (R-Okla.) explained that "originally, [the rule] was created to not slow down debate". "It feels great", she said as reporters and pages looked on.

Klobuchar, who helped usher through the rules change, said that was not the only accommodation they had to make for Maile. But the Arkansas Republican acknowledged that some of his colleagues do, "so the cloakroom might be a good compromise". The senator lost her legs in Iraq in 2004 when the Black Hawk she was piloting was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Senate Rules Committee Chairperson Roy Blunt said being a parent was a difficult job and Senate rules shouldn't make it any harder.

Speaker Paul Ryan announced past year he would change the dress code after a reporter was denied access to a room because she had on a sleeveless dress.

But there still were concerns.

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Wearing a pink bonnet, Maile's history-making debut on the hallowed floor of the US Senate came at just 10 days old. Having 10 babies on the Senate floor "would be a wonderful thing", his office wrote on Twitter. Replied Ms. Klobuchar: "That would be wonderful and a delight".

Most senators, though, were supportive, Klobuchar said.

Senate leaders Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and Chuck Schumer, D-New York, also gave their best wishes, Schumer with a thumbs-up and McConnell with a little wave.

The Senate changed its rules in 1977 to allow service dogs, wheelchairs and interpreters on the floor. "We strongly believe.that it should be a permanent rules change".

So congrats on your baby girl, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) quipped, the Tribune reports.

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