Senator Tammy Duckworth recently became the first sitting USA senator to birth a child while in office. Duckworth introduced the resolution earlier in the week after becoming the first sitting senator to give birth while in office. So, Duckworth proposed that babies be permitted in the chamber. And on Thursday, she helped make history again: Her new daughter was the first infant allowed on the Senate floor.
That quote, nabbed by an Associated Press reporter just off the Senate floor, triggered the kind of storm that could fill a lot of diapers.
The proposal, which could get a vote this week, marks another moment for an institution that, at times, seems to relish its resistance to change.
This is also an especially meaningful move for women in Congress, who are already underrepresented at 19.8 percent, with just 23 female senators. Pat Roberts, an 81-year-old Kansas Republican.
"Breast-feeding is a normal and natural thing that women have been doing since time immemorial, and in that sense, it's quite odd to me that it caused such a sensation", Waters said. Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar says private assurances that babies wouldn't disrupt the Senate were offered to members of both parties.
"You know, hopefully we're not setting expectations too high for her", Duckworth said, laughing.
Dick Durbin, the senior senator from Duckworth's home state of IL said of the change, "I think it will do us good in the United States Senate every once in a while to see a pacifier next to the antique inkwells on our desks".
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) suggested that relegating new parents like Duckworth to the Senate cloakroom "might be a good compromise".
She ended up voting nay. but the guy got cleared with 50 GOP yeas. Back in 2009, senator Kirsten Gillibrand was asked to preside over the Senate from 5 to 7pm, which was when she needed to nurse her son.
But there still were concerns.
"Part of our history is recognizing change", said Sen.
"Today @senorrinhatch was concerned what would happen if there were 10 babies on the Senate floor".
"We could only wish we had 10 babies on the floor".
And, on top of that, the average age of a senator is more than 60.
Most senators, though, have been supportive, Klobuchar said.
Other Senators were happy to make the rule change.
"Why would I object to it?" Sen. "We have plenty of babies on the floor". Marco Rubio, R-Fla.