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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 DuckworthSenate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Hillicon Valley: Facebook deletes accounts for political 'spam' | Leaked research shows Google's struggles with online free speech | Trump's praise for North Korea complicates cyber deterrence | Senators want Google memo on privacy bug Senate Dem: Trump's 'fake, hyperbolic rantings' an insult to real Medal of Honor recipients 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 HatchGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Congress should work with Trump and not 'cowboy' on Saudi Arabia, says GOP senator US to open trade talks with Japan, EU, UK 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 RobertsEvangelical leader: Not worth risking ties with Saudi Arabia over missing journalist GOP loads up lame-duck agenda as House control teeters Congress allows farm bill to lapse before reauthorization deadline 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 KlobucharIs there a difference between good and bad online election targeting? Election Countdown: Minnesota Dems worry Ellison allegations could cost them key race | Dems struggle to mobilize Latino voters | Takeaways from Tennessee Senate debate | Poll puts Cruz up 9 in Texas Clusters of polio-like illness in the US not a cause for panic MORE (D-Minn.), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMeghan McCain calls Russian attacks against her father the 'highest compliment' to her family Schumer: Fight for Senate is 'neck and neck' Nikki Haley powerfully rebuts Trump MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Rules Committee Chairman Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP loads up lame-duck agenda as House control teeters Congress moves to ensure the greater availability of explosives detecting dogs in the US McConnell sets key Kavanaugh vote for Friday 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 CottonFlake: Congress should not continue Kavanaugh investigations GOP senator suspects Schumer of being behind release of Ford letter Susan Collins becomes top 2020 target for Dems 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 RubioMeghan McCain calls Russian attacks against her father the 'highest compliment' to her family The Memo: Saudi storm darkens for Trump GOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia 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.