Duckworth spent part of her childhood in Hawaii, and after her military service she became active in veterans issues at the state and federal level. Akaka served as chairman of the Senate Veterans Committee.
“Bryan, Abigail and I couldn’t be happier to welcome little Maile Pearl as the newest addition to our family, and we’re deeply honored that our good friend Sen. Akaka was able to bless her name for us — his help in naming both of our daughters means he will always be with us,” Duckworth said in a statement Monday.
She said that being a parent of small children while serving in Congress gives her a perspective that is often missing in debates on federal policy about families and child care. “Parenthood isn’t just a women’s issue; it’s an economic issue and one that affects all parents — men and women alike,” she said. “As tough as juggling the demands of motherhood and being a senator can be, I’m hardly alone or unique as a working parent.”