The Latest: Duckworth and daughter make Senate history

Tammy Duckworth, Maile Pearl Bowlsbey
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Senate and a rule change allowing newborns of members into the chamber (all times local):

2:44 p.m.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth and daughter Maile have made Senate history.

The Illinois Democrat brought her daughter, in a pink hat, onto the Senate floor under new rules that permitted it. Duckworth already is the only senator to have given birth while serving in the Senate. Maile, born April 9, is the first senator’s baby to be allowed on the chamber floor.

The history was made under a new rule passed a day earlier that permitted newborns of senators on the floor during votes. The Republican-controlled Senate held the vote open so Duckworth and Maile could adhere to the new rule. Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran and double-amputee, arrived in a wheelchair with Maile on her lap, voted no with a downturned thumb, and laughed. Her colleagues crowded around to see.

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12:38 a.m.

Not just anybody can come onto the floor of the Senate — not even babies. Prompted by the first sitting senator with a newborn, the Senate has decided to allow the babies of its members into the chamber, but not before some coaxing.

Illinois Democrat Tammy Duckworth gave birth to a daughter on April 9. Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar says private assurances that babies wouldn’t disrupt the Senate were offered to members of both parties.

Still, there were reservations. Kansas Republican Pat Roberts noted that a senator could vote from a nearby lounge and said allowing babies on the floor wasn’t necessary. Utah Republican Orrin Hatch asked, “What if there are 10 babies on the floor of the Senate?”

In the end, no senator objected to the rules change.

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