WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Senator Tammy Duckworth is just weeks away from delivering a key milestone for women in office.
Our Washington Correspondent Alana Austin sits down with her about her pregnancy, and how it’s shaped her political causes.
Alana: “Senator Duckworth, you are about to make history in just a couple months here as the first sitting U.S. Senator to have a child while in office. Tell us what that means to you.”
Duckworth: “It means that we need more women in the Senate (laughs)."
Illinois Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth - no stranger to breaking the mold. The decorated Iraq war veteran lost both her legs in combat, but she says that didn’t stop her from finding new ways to serve. or from motherhood.
"I can’t believe it’s 2018 and we’re finally just now breaking this barrier," said Duckworth.
Duckworth had her first baby, Abigail, while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.
But getting to this point was a challenge: she underwent multiple fertility treatments and even suffered a miscarriage.
“It’s hard and for us there were tears and frustrations all along the way, but it’s been incredibly rewarding and I think it makes me a better lawmaker,” said Duckworth.
But now, the Senator is on track to deliver her second child, just weeks after turning 50.
Duckworth says her experience inspired her to fight for issues affecting fellow working moms - like paid family leave and more nursing spaces in airports.
“I realized that there was a need there that was not being met," said Duckworth.
Last year, Duckworth voted against the Republican tax reform plan, which GOP lawmakers said would help parents.
Alana: “that plan did double the child care tax credit. Why were you not able to support that measure?”
Duckworth: “Because it took away so many of the other credits that families rely upon in Illinois and it would cost my constituents more money in the long run”
Duckworth’s baby is due in late April. She’s expecting a second daughter.