Speed Reads

new rules

Babies are now allowed on the Senate floor

The Senate voted on Wednesday night to allow babies onto the floor during votes, a change pushed by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).

This month, Duckworth became the first senator to give birth while in office, and under the new rule, senators will be able to bring infants under 1 onto the Senate floor so they can be breastfed during votes. This move helps "bring the Senate into the 21st century by recognizing that sometimes new parents also have responsibilities at work," Duckworth said in a statement.

This was just one of the rules Duckworth has been working to change to make it less difficult for her to vote should she have her newborn with her. The last time the Senate voted on additional floor privileges was in 1977, in favor of service dogs. Sen. Amy Klobucher (D-Minn.) told CNN that senators asked a lot of questions about what would happen if the floor was opened to babies, including whether there should be a dress code for the infant and if diapers will be changed. "It's been quite a journey," she said. "The Senate is steeped in tradition, and just like the rest of the country, sometimes things have to change."