Senate allows babies in chamber despite concerns from older, male senators

Alex Wong  Getty Images

Alex Wong Getty Images

The rule change, voted through by unanimous consent, was done to accommodate senators with newborn babies, allowing them now to be able to bring a child under 1-year-old onto the Senate floor and breastfeed them during votes.

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". Duckworth took to Twitter today, Thursday, April 19, to share that her baby girl is ready to hit the Senate floor. "Leave her sitting outside?"

The resolution passed unanimously, but not without some mostly older, male Senators expressing concern about babies' potential danger to the Senate's decorum.

Tiny Maile Pearl made Senate history Thursday without making a sound. "Perhaps the cry of a baby will shock this Senate into speaking up and even crying out on the issues that confront our nation and world".

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A day after the U.S. Senate changed its rules to allow babies in the chamber, U.S. Sen.

Sen. Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the chamber, told CNN that the rule change would likely improve the atmosphere in the room.

The Senate chamber is a historically exclusive space, and only select people are allowed in, such as the president and vice president, members of Congress, the mayor of Washington, D.C. and senators' staff members. The private reassurances to members of both parties, she said, have "been going on for weeks". The double amputee, in a wheelchair with Maile, pronounced "Miley", in her lap, was on the floor for less than three minutes before they took off. "I am so proud that my daughter Alia is the first baby to be breastfed in the Federal Parliament", Waters said in May. "We believe strongly, and she did, that it should be a permanent rules change".

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"But what if there are ten babies on the floor of the Senate?" he asked. Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, and Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, gathered around, along with Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, who helped usher in the rules change allowing for Maile to make her Senate floor debut.

Unlike the senators, Maile (and all other future babies to come on the Senate floor) won't have to worry about a dress code. Sen.

The average age of senators is over 60.

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