In a move that has stirred a heated debate among Republicans who see it as a disregard for tradition and a sign of lowered standards, the U.S. Senate has decided to do away with its dress code for its members.
Senate will no longer enforce a dress code for senators https://t.co/iItWkeCvOK
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 19, 2023
The news was first announced by Fox News senior congressional correspondent Chad Pergram, who took to Twitter to share the update.
Pergram revealed that while Senators would no longer be bound by the dress code, those entering the chamber, such as staff and visitors, would still be expected to adhere to the established standards. This means men should wear coats and ties, while women should be donned in business attire.
This unexpected change comes at the behest of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer(D-NY), who quietly communicated the directive to the Senate’s sergeant at arms, according to Axios, who also reported that Senate officials confirmed that the revised rule will be implemented this week.
One of the notable beneficiaries of this relaxed dress code is Sen. John Fetterman(D-PA). Fetterman has gained recognition for his unique style, often sporting hooded sweatshirts and gym shorts around Capitol Hill.
This distinctive attire became a symbol of his resilience after a six-week hospitalization for depression earlier this year as he even devised a clever workaround to the Senate’s dress code rules by casting his votes from the doorway of the Democrat cloakroom or the side entrance, ensuring his votes were counted before discreetly exiting.
While Fetterman’s fashion choices drew praise from some of his Democratic colleagues, including Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT), not everyone is thrilled with this development as Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) expressed his disapproval, stating, “If my interns can put on a suit, so can a U.S. Senator.”
Former Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller also weighed in, questioning the Senate’s decision to adapt to one man’s preferences. He asked, “Will a single Senator object to this humiliation?”
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine added a touch of humor to the debate, suggesting that she might “wear a bikini” on the Senate floor in response to Schumer’s directive. While Collins clarified she had no intention of going to such extremes, she used the example to highlight her concerns about the Senate’s diminishing standards.
Another lawmaker who has voiced opposition to the Senate’s decision is Marjorie Taylor Greene, calling it “disgraceful” and emphasizing the importance of societal standards in upholding etiquette and respect for our institutions.
The Senate no longer enforcing a dress code for Senators to appease Fetterman is disgraceful.
Dress code is one of society’s standards that set etiquette and respect for our institutions.
Stop lowering the bar!
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) September 17, 2023
In response to Greene’s criticism, Fetterman aimed a jab at House Republicans, saying, “Thankfully, the nation’s lower chamber lives by a higher code of conduct: displaying ding-a-ling pics in public hearings.”
Thankfully, the nation's lower chamber lives by a higher code of conduct: displaying ding-a-ling pics in public hearings. https://t.co/a4sLQ7nSBL
— Senator John Fetterman (@SenFettermanPA) September 18, 2023