Sen. Tammy Duckworth, the first US senator who is expected to give birth while in office, told CNN she feels the Senate rules are outdated because they wouldn’t allow her to bring her baby to the floor.
“For me to find out that there are issues with the United States Senate’s rules where I may not be able to vote or bring my child on to the floor of the Senate when I need to vote because we ban children from the floor, I thought, ‘Wow, I feel like I’m living in the 19th century instead of the 21st, and we need to make some of these changes,’” Duckworth told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
She said she’s working with Senate leadership to change the rules
“My leadership of the Democratic Party have been very supportive,” she said. “We’re going to request a rules change, so that during the first year of this child’s life, whether you are a woman or a man, whether you’re breast-feeding or not, or you’ve adopted or something, you should be able to bring that child on to the floor and continue to do your job.”
She continued: “I mean, this is ridiculous. We’re in 2018 and we’re still dealing with this in the United States of America. We’re better than that. And, certainly, this speaks to the problems we have in this country with the need for family leave and certainly more family-friendly legislation in this country.”
The Illinois Democrat announced in January that she is expecting her second child in the spring. She is one of only 10 women who have given birth while serving in Congress. Her office told CNN she is due in late April.
Duckworth is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who was a helicopter pilot in the Iraq War. She was the first female double amputee from the war after suffering severe combat wounds when her Black Hawk helicopter was shot down.
After retiring from the Army, she was elected to Congress in 2013.