(It is incredibly sad that we would need such laws in the first place.)
Five Republican senators voted against a final version of an amendment added to the omnibus spending package that strengthens protections for pregnant women and working mothers.
John Cornyn, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Pat Toomey were the only senators to vote against the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers (PUMP) Act in a 92-5 vote.
The PUMP Act was introduced as an amendment to the 2023 fiscal year appropriations package by Democrat Jeff Merkley and Republican Lisa Murkowski and is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden after being approved by the House.
The new law would expand on a 2010 law authored by Merkley and Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney that provides space and time for hourly employees to pump and store breast milk at work.
In a statement prior to the vote, Merkley said countless employees are subjected to harassment, reduced wages and even job loss because of inadequate time and space to pump in the workplace.
It also impacts the health of the women and children, he added.
"Breastfeeding is great for the baby and great for moms," Merkley said. "We must make it possible for every new mom returning to the workplace to have the option to continue breastfeeding. That option is also really good for business.
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"With this bill, parents will be empowered to make their own choices on breastfeeding, and businesses can improve retention of valuable employees. It's a win-win-win."
Murkowski said in a statement that the law will provide added protections for breastfeeding moms.
"What has been a question is a women's protection at the jobsite to pump safely," Murkowski said. "If a mother chooses to breastfeed her baby, she deserves the legal protection to do so without having to worry about it impacting her career."
Dina Bakst, co-founder and co-president of the national nonprofit advocacy organization A Better Balance, celebrated and added that is was "a long time coming."
"This victory belongs to the women who have fought alongside us for so many years, bravely sharing their stories and speaking out against pregnancy discrimination," Bakst said in a statement. "These victories represent some of the most significant updates to our federal workplace protection laws in decades."
Rand Paul, ever an embarrassment to Kentuckians. Looks like even his colleague McConnell supported it!
My guess is those who voted no were never breat fed and hold a grudge against those who are! Pretty sure Toomey never has actually seen a breast in his life! Won’t miss him as our Senator at all!