Duckworth Looking for Way to Vote While on Maternity Leave

Illinois Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth will soon become the first woman that has given birth while serving in the Senate. Duckworth stated during an interview that she can’t “technically take maternity leave,” as a result of not being able to vote during that time while crucial things in the Senate are happening.

“Because if I take maternity leave, then I won’t be allowed to sponsor legislation or vote during that time period,” she said in Politico’s podcast “Women Rule.”

Earlier this year, Duckworth announced that she and her husband are expecting their second child in April. She also stated that she hopes something could be figured out with leadership in her party so she can still be capable of giving her votes during her planned 12 weeks of paid leave.

“It’s going to change some Senate rules,” Duckworth said, adding that people are not allowed to bring their children on the Senate floor.

“If I have to vote, and I’m breastfeeding my child, especially during my maternity leave period, what do I do? Leave her sitting outside?” she said.

Duckworth’s recent attacks on President Donald Trump, whom she has referred to as “Cadet Bone Spurs,” were also mentioned during the interview.

“I just think it’s descriptive. I think bullies need to have a taste of their own medicine, and he is a bully. And you stand up to bullies,” she said during the interview. “He was a cadet in a prep school. And the bone spurs thing, I just think it’s ironic that you have an injury that is so severe it keeps you out of serving your country, but you don’t remember which foot it was in, or whether it was in both feet,” she added. 

According to The Hill, Duckworth was referring to Trump’s multiple deferments from the draft during the Vietnam War, one of which was for heel spurs, or bone protrusions caused by calcium buildup.

As an Iraq War veteran, Duckworth served as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot and suffered severe combat wounds, losing both of her legs and damaging her right arm. She was the first female double amputee from the war. Having received a medical waiver, she continued to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard until her retirement from the Army in October 2014.

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