You can imagine why I was drawn to this story. I interviewed Iowa Representative Megan Jones on the first day of session, when she told me that her due date was during the legislative session. Representative Jones had a girl and returned to the legislature two weeks after the birth.
Baby Alma was at her side on the floor of the Iowa House. I interviewed Rep Jones at the WHO studio with Alma sleeping in a carrier (Alma was sleeping BEFORE the interview, not due to my show!) Some listeners, though, were not supportive - messaging me after the show that Representative Jones was being paid "to represent taxpayers, not take care of a baby!"
Last week, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill) became the first U.S. Senator to give birth while in office. Now, Duckworth wants the Senate to change its rules to allow her newborn on the Senate floor.Duckworth wants to be able to bring her child with her onto the Senate floor to vote.
I had no idea that US Senate rules ban children and other non-official personnel from the floor.
Duckworth says the ban makes her "feel like I'm living in the 19th century instead of the 21st." Things are more relaxed in the House, where a number of Representatives have brought their children onto the floor.
Duckworth also believes the rule might keep qualified women from running for Senate in the future.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not yet commented on Duckworth's request.
I have no problems with changing the US Senate rules. Baby Alma, by all reports, uplifted the spirits of Iowa legislators and kept them focused on the reason for their elections: to make a positive difference in Iowa's future.