Senate to Allow Breastfeeding Mothers to Bring Infants to Chamber Floor

20 April, 2018, 01:39 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • FEB. 14 2018 FILE

The rules are so hard to change that it took Budget Committee Chairman Sen. 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.

Earlier this month, she became the first sitting senator to give birth while in office.

The 50-year-old senator previously said she was anxious that outdated Senate rules would make it harder to do her job.

Teleworking is not an option in the Senate, which requires members to vote in person. Apparently some lawmakers raised questions like whether diapers would be changed on the floor or whether there would be a dress code for babies.

Since the 1800s, the Senate has restricted access to the room when senators complained about too many people being in the area at one time.

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.




"Why would I object to it?" Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and outgoing Sen. He then noted that a person can stand in the door of the cloakroom, a lounge just off the chamber, and vote. "I think it's unbelievable", Duckworth said. The private reassurances to members of both parties, she said, have "been going on for weeks".

"Originally it was created to not slow down debate", Lankford said of the rules. Some senators proposed making an exception for Duckworth. Her work has appeared in/on a variety of publications including Cosmopolitan.com, Parents.com, Romper, Redbookmag.com, ELLE.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, Bustle, Variety, Women's Health, and Better Homes & Gardens.

But there still were concerns.

But will babies have to carry the mandatory floor pass? "That would be a delight", retorted Klobuchar, noting that such a conflagration would probably mean more young senators had been elected in a body where the average age of members tops 60. But with a record 23 women serving in the Senate, it makes sense to allow women with new babies, particularly those who may be breastfeeding, to have their infants with them in the event they need to cast an important vote.

Other Senators were happy to make the rule change.

As for babies, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) quipped, the Tribune reports.

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