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New rule allows newborns on Senate floor

By
Ray Downs
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., speaks during a news conference in front of the Supreme Court marking the 27th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in Washington, DC on July 26, 2017. On Wednesday, the Senate changed rules to allow newborn babies on the Senate floor after Duckworth gave birth last month. File Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., speaks during a news conference in front of the Supreme Court marking the 27th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in Washington, DC on July 26, 2017. On Wednesday, the Senate changed rules to allow newborn babies on the Senate floor after Duckworth gave birth last month. File Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI | License Photo

April 18 (UPI) -- Newborn babies will be allowed on the Senate floor, following a request from Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who gave birth last month.

The Senate had previously banned children from entering the Senate floor. But Duckworth -- the first sitting U.S. Senator to give birth -- asked the rule be changed so she can attend to both her mother duties and senatorial duties.

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"By ensuring that no Senator will be prevented from performing their constitutional responsibilities simply because they have a young child, the Senate is leading by example and sending the important message that working parents everywhere deserve family-friendly workplace policies," Duckworth said in a statement. "These policies aren't just a women's issue, they are a common-sense economic issue."

Other Senators were happy to make the rule change.

"Being a parent is a difficult job, and the Senate rules shouldn't make it any harder," said Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. "I'm glad we were able to get this done to address the needs of parents in the Senate. I congratulate Sen. Duckworth and her family, and look forward to meeting her daughter."

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As for whether babies will have to wear any special identification before they enter the Senate floor, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn, doesn't think so.

"I think we can get that baby on with no identification and trust the mother," Klobuchar said, according to NBC News. "The baby will be able to wear whatever the baby wants to wear."

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