Senator Tammy Duckworth, 50, made history when she gave birth to her second child, daughter Maile Pearl Bowlsbey on April 9. Duckworth was the first US senator to give birth while holding office.
Now the Senator is making history yet again by bringing her infant daughter to the Senate Floor. The Senate rules demand votes to be taken in person, so for the new mother, the decision to bring along her daughter seemed like a natural right she should be given without any prejudice.
Maile got some firsthand experience today at the Capitol for #TakeYourChildToWorkDay. She was so excited to be deputized as the newest Junior Capitol Police Officer!
Leaving your newborn at home can be difficult, even impossible for mothers that are breastfeeding so Tammy is trailblazing the way for a new modernized Senate Floor.
But changing history doesn’t happen without its criticism especially when you’re in the company of mostly men like Tammy Duckworth is.
“But what if there are 10 babies on the floor of the Senate?” This was the question that Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah posed. The discussion is now on the table on whether children under the age of 1 should be allowed inside the Senate during voting.
Senator Pat Roberts from Kansas weighed in on the hot topic, “I don’t think its necessary,” but did say he wouldn’t oppose it.
Let’s take a more serious look at the bigger picture if there were babies crawling around the Senate floor. It’s an indication that Congress is catching up with the 21st century and a strong indication that more women are filling the seats of the Senate floor.
I may have to vote today, so Maile’s outfit is prepped. I made sure she has a jacket so she doesn’t violate the Senate floor dress code (which requires blazers). I’m not sure what the policy is on duckling onesies, but I think we’re ready.
Like any modern corporation that has had to make fair changes in the workplace for new mothers, it was only a matter of time that Congress was going to have to pick up their pace.
Women are still the main source of child responsibilities in the household, even when both parents work. So, Congress allowing women to bring their babies to the floor while participating in voting could also encourage more women to roll up their sleeves and run for Congress.
But this change of ways doesn’t have to be directed just to the women in Congress. What if men brought their babies to the Senate floor? A thought not brought up for discussion as often. It could mean men are taking a bigger role in sharing the responsibilities of childcare and a more active role in parenting.
Babies on the Senate floor may not be such a bad idea, sounds like a win-win for everyone.
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