Male senators across party lines expressed concern over babies in the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr (Public Domain)

Republican men are upset that the Senate now allows babies in its chambers

Some senators fear 'Senate decorum' is at stake with Sen. Duckworth's resolution.

 

Ana Valens

IRL

Published Apr 19, 2018   Updated May 21, 2021, 6:06 pm CDT

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) recently became the first senator to give birth while in office. She also wanted bring her newborn daughter into the Senate during voting periods. Now, thanks to her own proposal, the Senate unanimously voted on Wednesday to end a ban on babies within the chamber.

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However, some Republican men aren’t happy with the idea.

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Duckworth’s resolution comes from nearly two months’ worth of private interviews between Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and senators across party lines; apparently Klobchar had to privately insist that nursing and changing diapers wouldn’t happen on the Senate floor, according to the New York Times. Yet Congressmen still remained concerned that newborns could impact “Senate decorum,” and two Republican senators even expressed their complaints publicly: Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and outgoing Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

Hatch in particular argued that he had “no problem” with the idea, yet he seemed concerned over logistically implementing it.

“But what if there are 10 babies on the floor of the Senate?” he asked, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“We could only wish we had 10 babies on the floor,” Klobuchar fired back. “That would be a delight.”

The internet has since criticized Hatch for his hesitation, pointing out that caring for newborns is a natural part of life that can’t necessarily be interrupted just for “Senate decorum.” And besides, if more babies were in the Senate chamber, that means younger senators (particularly young mothers) are most likely entering the legislative body, which means more representation for American women, parents, and young voters in their 20s and 30s.

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Eventually, Hatch’s office turned to Twitter, admitting that 10 babies in the Senate “would be a wonderful thing.”

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In better news, Duckworth also worded the proposal with gender-neutral terminology. That means gay male senators have room to take care of their children in the Senate chamber as well, assuring LGBTQ families aren’t left out from the change.

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Some senators don’t understand the fuss at all and believe there were already children on the Senate floor before the proposal passed.

“Why would I object to it?” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) quipped, the Tribune reports. “We have plenty of babies on the floor.”

If Rubio is any indicator, there’s some truth to that claim.

H/T Chicago Tribune

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*First Published: Apr 19, 2018, 10:00 am CDT