GOP senators raise concerns about babies on Senate floor

GOP senators raise concerns about babies on Senate floor
© Greg Nash

GOP senators have raised concerns about a new resolution that allows babies under a year old onto the Senate floor during votes but were not worried enough to vote against the measure.

While the measure cleared the chamber by unanimous consent, a number of Senators expressed that they are still unsure about the new rule introduced by Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthWhite House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration Dem senator thinks Senate may be able to block emergency declaration Trump’s new Syria timetable raises concern among key anti-ISIS allies MORE (D-Ill.), who recently became the first senator to give birth while in office.

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Longtime Republican Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchOrrin Hatch Foundation seeking million in taxpayer money to fund new center in his honor Mitch McConnell has shown the nation his version of power grab Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Utah Senate votes to scale back Medicaid expansion | Virginia abortion bill reignites debate | Grassley invites drug execs to testify | Conservative groups push back on e-cig crackdown MORE (Utah), who has six children, 14 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren, said he had "no problem" with the new rule for the chamber, but asked what would happen "if there are 10 babies on the floor of the Senate," according to The Associated Press.

Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsGOP senators offer praise for Klobuchar: 'She’s the whole package' The Hill's Morning Report - House Dems prepare to swamp Trump with investigations The Hill's Morning Report — Will Ralph Northam survive? MORE (R-Kan.) also told the AP that while he didn't object to the change, he didn't think it was "necessary" to allow newborns on the chamber floor. 

But the move was heralded by Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Klobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up Harris off to best start among Dems in race, say strategists, donors MORE (D-Minn.), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats The national emergency will haunt Republicans come election season Trump: McConnell should keep Senate in session until nominees are approved MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Rules Committee Chairman Roy BluntRoy Dean Blunt‘Contingency’ spending in 3B budget deal comes under fire GOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration The border deal: What made it in, what got left out MORE (R-Mo.) did not stand in the way of the resolution. 

"We are proud to have Senator Tammy Duckworth — working mom to a newborn — among our ranks and I’m glad the Rules Committee was able to swiftly make this historic rule change for her and future senators," Klobuchar said in a statement.

The new mother herself praised the Senate for "leading by example" to create a kid-friendly workplace for working moms.

Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonSenate approves border bill that prevents shutdown 'Morning Joe' host quizzes Howard Schultz on price of a box of Cheerios Huawei charges escalate Trump fight with China MORE (R-Ark.), a 40-year-old father of two, also said he had no issues with the rules change, but hedged his support for a suggestion by Roberts for the infants to only be allowed in the Senate's cloakroom as "a good compromise."

Duckworth, who uses a wheelchair after losing both of her legs during her military tour in Iraq, said that the room was not wheelchair accessible. Some senators initially proposed an exception for her case. 

While senators of both parties have reportedly expressed concerns in private, Klobuchar said that reassurances by Republicans and Democrats have “been going on for weeks.”

For Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio in Colombia to push for delivery of humanitarian aid to Venezuela On unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 On The Money: Trump declares emergency at border | Braces for legal fight | Move divides GOP | Trump signs border deal to avoid shutdown | Winners, losers from spending fight | US, China trade talks to resume next week MORE (R-Fla.) joked that the new rule won't be a huge change for the overwhelmingly elderly group of senators.

"Why would I object to it? We have plenty of babies on the floor,” the 46-year-old joked.