Senate approves resolution allowing Duckworth to bring newborn on floor

After becoming the first senator to give birth while in office, Tammy Duckworth faces what millions of women around the world face: how to balance caring for their family while also thriving in their career. But a new Senate resolution just made it a whole lot easier for this new mom and democratic senator from Illinois.

According to The Hill, the Senate has approved a resolution to allow Sen. Duckworth to bring her baby on the floor, opening the door for any senator to “bring a child younger than one year of age onto the floor during votes.”

Because senators have to be physically present in the Senate chamber in order to vote, The Hill said Duckworth filed the resolution shortly after giving birth to her baby girl, and senators Amy Klombuchar (D-Minn.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) quickly moved it out of committee. The resolution was eventually passed with unanimous consent.

“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, according to The Hill, with Blunt adding that “being a parent is a difficult job, and the Senate rules shouldn’t make it any harder.”

For Duckworth, the move may have larger implications beyond the Senate floor.

“The Senate is leading by example and sending the important message that working parents everywhere deserve family-friendly workplace policies,” she said in a statement. “These policies aren’t just a women’s issue, they are a common-sense economic issue.”

While changes like these to workplaces around the U.S. may not be on the horizon just yet, this resolution may just open the door for changes that provide family-friendly workplaces for all.

Senate joins fight for equal pay

Five members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team filed a complaint in March accusing U.S. Soccer of wage discrimination and arguing that male Major League Soccer players make significantly more than they do. While they have yet to achieve equal pay for their talents, the United States Senate has joined the fight in securing their rights.

According to the Huffington Post, the Senate “unanimously approved a non-binding resolution calling on the U.S. Soccer Federation to ‘immediately end gender pay inequity and to treat all athletes with the respect and dignity those athletes deserve'” on Thursday, May 26.

Introduced earlier this month by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and 21 other Democrats, the resolution to remedy the pay disparity was brought up for discussion this week when Murray gave a speech on the team before the Senate, says the Huffington Post.

Mentioning the USWNT’s third World Cup win and three Olympic gold medals, Murray said, “But despite all of these tremendous successes, these players do not get paid on par with their male counterparts.”

“This isn’t just about the money. It’s also about the message it sends to women and girls across our country and the world,” the senator offered, later calling their struggle “emblematic of what is happening all across our country,” referencing the ever-present pay gap that persists across a multitude of professions.

The Huffington Post says that although the resolution, which “only applies public pressure on the soccer governing body,” passed without objection, Murray and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) hope that this small step will lead to further action taken to address the broader pay problem.

After the resolution’s approval, Murray expressed her pride over its adoption, calling it a show of support for women around the country. But Murray’s work is far from over; she hopes that this victory can help garner the approval of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which aims to remedy wage discrimination based on gender.

“Now, let’s back it up with action by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act!,” she said after the resolution’s approval. “I am going to keep fighting for this legislation, so I urge all my colleagues to put partisanship aside, once again, and work to get this done.”