Babies Are Now Allowed On The Senate Floor

The United States Senate has just passed what some are calling a historical resolution that allows Senators to bring their infant children onto the floor during Senate votes.

The resolution was sponsored by Tammy Duckworth, a Democratic Senator from Illinois, who made history as the first Senator to give birth while in office. She is only one of 10 women in the history of the U.S. to have a baby while serving her term, the other nine women being members of the House.

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The rule change was passed unanimously late Wednesday night, in an effort to help Senators like Duckworth who have recently given birth. The resolution stipulates that the child must be under 1-year of age for this rule to apply.

In a statement released by Duckworth shortly after the vote she stated, "By ensuring that no Senator will be prevented from performing their constitutional responsibilities simply because they have a young child, the Senate is leading by example and sending the important message that working parents everywhere deserve family-friendly workplace policies."

The senator from Illinois, who has been adamant about adapting the Senate rules for months, was concerned about her ability to perform her duties as both a mother and a senator. Though the resolution was passed unanimously, there were still many questions beforehand as to what this new change would entail. CNN reported that there were, "many real questions from senators, expressing concern about the impact of opening the floor up to newborns." The questions ranged from pondering if diaper changes would be an issue to whether or not the babies would follow a dress code.

Duckworth has not only made history for being the first senator to give birth while in office, but also because she helped change the conversation around maternal duties in the workplace. Susan Collins, a Republican senator from Maine, explained in an interview with Ari Shapiro that,  "It was no longer a theoretical debate. It was a very practical debate of how does a new mother manage to vote and yet take care of her child?"

The infant responsible for this resolution-- the newest addition to the Duckworth family-- is a baby girl named Maile Pearl. Duckworth and her husband, Bryan Bowlsbey, are already parents to daughter Abigail, who was born in 2014 while Duckworth was serving in the House of Representatives.

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