Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Schumer Rewrites Senate Dress Code to Accommodate Gym-Shorts-Wearing Fetterman

'Senators are able to choose what they wear on the Senate floor...'

(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., quietly requested that the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms no longer enforce the Senate dress code, allowing Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., to enter the chambers clad in his signature hoodie and gym shorts.

“Senators are able to choose what they wear on the Senate floor,” Schumer said of his decision. “I will continue to wear a suit.”

When first elected, Fetterman followed the dress code and wore suits to congressional meetings. According to a report by Axios, Schumer recently opted to relax the dress code after Fetterman’s bout with clinical depression.

The requested changes applied to only Senators; staff dress code retained its formal standards.

Under the old standard, business professional attire was expected, meaning a coat and tie for men at minimum.

Senators did have the option to vote with one foot still in the cloakroom without violating  the dress code. Fetterman and other senators voted this way previously.

There was some question as to whether the Senate dress code was an official rule, or just a custom enforced by the Sergeant at Arms.

Axios reporters were unable to obtain any written record of the rules.

The policy, written or unwritten, has frequent challengers.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar contested the dress code five years ago, asking the Sergeant at Arms to allow more relaxed standards for women, including sleeveless tops and bare shoulders.

Former Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., requested the modernization of the dress code for the lower chamber as part of a response to outrage over the dress code for female reporters.

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, took the opposite stance, advocating for the strict House dress code as Speaker from 2011 to 2015.

“Members should wear appropriate attire during all sittings of the House, however brief their appearances on the floor may be,” he said. “You know who you are.”

Fetterman returned to Congress this summer after weeks battling depression and recovering from a stroke.

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