Sen. Tammy Duckworth Makes History By Casting Vote with Baby on Senate Floor

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) has made history by being the first woman to give birth while working in the Senate, and was a leading factor in the unanimous decision to allow babies under 1-year-old to accompany their parent on the Senate floor.

Duckworth, 50, gave birth to her second child, Malie, on April 9 and, ten days later on April 19, cast her vote in a decision to confirm GOP Rep. James Bridenstine as the next NASA administrator. Duckworth voted against Bridenstine. Malie accompanied Duckworth to the vote.​

Photo courtesy of Common Dreams

“May have to vote today,” Duckworth tweeted earlier in the day. “Malie’s outfit is prepped. Made sure she has a jacket so she doesn’t violate the Senate floor dress code requiring blazers. Not sure what the policy is on duckling onesies but I think we’re ready.”

While Duckworth and Malie were exiting the floor after casting the vote, a crowd of reporters cooed at the baby. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) turned to reporters and said with a smile, “The press is finally interested in something worthwhile.”

Duckworth thanked her colleagues “on both sides” for coming together for the benefit of working Senate mothers.

“Babies on the Senate floor?” said Sen. Pat Roberts, 81 (R-Kansas). “We got a lot of crybabies on there now.”