Senate allows babies in chamber
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Senate has voted unanimously to let the babies of its members into the tradition-bound chamber.
The inspiration for the historic change of rules was Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s daughter, born April 9. Duckworth wants to resume voting, and the Senate requires that votes be cast in person. So the Illinois Democrat, now on maternity leave, proposed that babies be allowed into the chamber. She says the vote Wednesday helps “bring the Senate into the 21st Century.”
Although no one objected, the idea didn’t sit easily with some senators in both parties concerned that babies would disrupt “Senate decorum.”
Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she spent nearly two months privately reassuring Republicans and Democrats that the new rule would not mean diaper-changing or nursing in the Senate chamber.
Babies do not care about Senate decorum. But in a bow to working parents, the tradition-bound institution is considering letting the newborns of senators in.
The inspiration is Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s daughter, born April 9. Duckworth wants to continue voting, and the Senate requires that votes be cast in person. So the Illinois Democrat is proposing that babies be allowed into the chamber.
That doesn’t sit easily with some senators, but nobody has threatened to object.
Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she’s spent nearly two months reassuring colleagues of both parties that new parents won’t change diapers or nurse in the Senate chamber.
The rule change, which could pass this week, says senators with children under a year old could bring them into the Senate during votes.