Senate votes to allow babies in chamber

PALATINE, IL - APRIL 11: U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) speaks during a town hall meeting on April 11, 2017 in Palatine, Illinois. Duckworth, who defeated Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) in 2016, is the junior senator from Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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.

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3 comments

  • C

    Decorum left the Congress many years ago. On Nancy Pelosi’s first day as Speaker of the House, she brought her grandkids and other children onto the House floor so they could touch her new gavel. Disgusting, but true. We supposedly elect members of the Congress to give their undivided attention to the operation of our government. I’m not in favor of anything that might hinder their work, and a baby on the floor is just that. I’m sure that there are caretakers available to take care of infants whenever need. If this lady cannot respect her Senatorial duties 100% of the time, she needs to make a career change.