Tammy Duckworth Is Poised to Be the First Senator to Bring Her Newborn Baby to the Senate Floor
Sen. Tammy Duckworth may soon be adding another first to her list of accomplishments.
The Democrat from Illinois became the first sitting senator to give birth in office earlier this month, when her daughter was born on April 9. Now Duckworth, 50, has submitted a resolution that would allow senators to bring children under the age of 1 onto the Senate floor during votes.
(The military veteran was also the first disabled woman elected to Congress and the first Asian American elected to Congress in Illinois.)
The Senate is likely to approve Duckworth’s resolution, according to Politico, meaning that Duckworth could be the first senator to bring her newborn into the chamber.
If the resolution does pass, it will be a significant victory for Duckworth. It’s an understatement to say the Senate is hesitant to change rules: 1997 request to allow laptops on the Senate floor, for instance, was rejected after four months of study and electronics are still technically banned.
Currently, Senate rules dictate that family members, including children, are not allowed on the Senate floor. Duckworth has argued that the ban does not support working parents.
In addition, Senate votes must take place in person—senators are not able to vote by proxy. Senators with young children like Duckworth are similarly not allowed to hand over their children to a staffer during a vote due to conflict of interest rules. Therefore, existing rules would make it difficult for Duckworth to vote.
The Senate Rules Committee is expected to vote on the resolution this week. It will then go to the Senate for a full vote.