Rep. Jimmy Gomez has been carrying his weight as a father (literally) during the ongoing vote for Speaker of the House. The Democratic congressman from California fed his infant, wore him in a baby carrier, and yes, even changed his diaper at Capitol Hill.
“When I took [Hodge] to the floor, I think people were surprised — but it wasn’t a big deal,” Gomez told TODAY. “I think it does send a powerful message that us guys need to do our part. We don’t risk our lives bringing children into the world — women do.”
Gomez also took Hodge to Twitter, where he and other congressmen shared funny-not-funny updates from Tuesday night on. Rep. Tony Cardenas posted a photo of Gomez wearing Hodge and said, “This baby was born on the first round of votes. He’s now 4 months old.”
Four months old, and Gomez wants to know if it’s “too early to teach my son the ‘I’m just a bill’ song?” We think not!
The animated, rolled-up bill who is always waiting around the Capitol in the famed Schoolhouse Rock song is perhaps the perfect mascot for Tuesday night. The family’s of many lawmakers, Gomez’s included, were in attendance on Tuesday evening, hoping to see their loved one get sworn in. Instead, they waited through another vote for Speaker of the House.
And the kids in attendance, much like the rest of the country, were exhausted by the seemingly never-ending process. The proceedings put more than a few children to sleep, some looked bored to tears, and others looked just plain over it.
Gomez said Hodge was a respite for many (How could you not smile around that squishy, curly-haired cutie who AOC reportedly called the “most beautiful baby?!”). He also said Hodge was a reminder of what this doozy-of-a-vote is about. It’s about working for “all the kids that were on the floor today, and all the kids who don’t have the privilege of being on the floor.”
During the ongoing session, Hodge could be found not only in the Chamber, but also in his father’s office, on the newly-installed changing table in the men’s bathroom (can we get these in all men’s bathrooms, please?), and in the “cloakroom” as Gomez, Rep. Joaquin Castro, and Rep. Salud Carbajal shared parenting pointers.
Of course, we love to see that Gomez and other fathers in Congress happily continued to parent while at work. But we would also like to remind the internet that *ahem* mothers who are politicians (heck, mothers in all industries), have been caring for their kids at work since … forever?
In 2018, Sen. Tammy Duckworth became the first senator to vote on the floor with a newborn in tow. In the same year, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became the first female politician to bring her infant to the United Nations General Assembly, and in 2017, Australian Senator Larissa Waters became the first mother to breastfeed during a vote in parliament.
And of course, we could go on and on about all the times women didn’t get the warm recognition Gomez has gotten. The times they got heat for bringing their kids to work, feeding their kids at work, leaving work to take care of their kids, or for not being the primary caregiver (gasp!).
But we’ll let you get back to watching the House Speaker vote go on and on (and on and on). On Thursday, after the 7th failed vote, Gomez said that at this rate, Hodge and Congressman Joaquin Castro’s daughter Anna Valentina will be going off to prom when this is all through. And after the ninth failed vote, Gomez told his followers that his wife and the rest of their family had gone home, though Hodge was still on the Hill. The sleepy babe is seen taking a bottle and resting up for what is sure to be another long day of voting (the 12th round!) on Friday.
“Hodge & I are just gonna figure this out like the rest of the working parents in America.”
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