US Senators are now allowed to serve with a head covering outside

“Senators get to choose what they wear in the Senate,” Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer declared yesterday. The US Senate’s informal dress code previously required a suit and tie, but from now on it can also be worn casually, with hoodies and loose-fitting shorts.

It was Democratic Senator John Fetterman of Pennsylvania who sounded the alarm. He started working constantly on Carhartt shorts and sweaters. When voting, he stood at the entrance to the Senate so as not to get into trouble with the so-called “Censor” of the Senate, who ensures that senators adhere to the business dress code. But that matter is now over, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced. “There was a casual dress code that was enforced, but senators can now choose what they wear on the Senate floor. I will continue to wear a suit.”

The new guidelines take into account the new reality. Not only did John Fetterman deviate from the stricter dress standard that had been in place for decades, other senators also had a looser dress style. Democratic Senator Fetterman stood out more than others, as he was more than two meters tall and had tattoos. For the first few months, he came to work wearing a suit and tie, but after the depression he was treated for, he recently chose to wear sweatpants and hoodies again. Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas also made a mark when he showed up to vote in sweaty tracksuits. Apparently the vote was scheduled in the middle of his basketball game.

The new arrangement does not satisfy everyone, especially some conservative Republicans. For example, Marjorie Taylor Greene, a far-right extremist from Georgia, called the new dress code “scandalous.” She believes the dress code shows “respect for our institutions.” Although Green himself is not a paragon of decency. During President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address in February, she suddenly stood up and shouted “Liar!” She also publicly sympathized with the rioters who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

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John Fetterman. © AP

Republican Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas said it was a “sad day in the Senate” and that the people represented by Fetterman and Schumer should be ashamed.

“I represent the people of Kansas, and as I prepare to go to a wedding, to honor the bride and groom, you go to a funeral and dress to honor the family of the deceased,” Marshall said. He added that senators must have a certain level of decorum.

In 2019, a change in women’s clothing actually occurred, after pressure from Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota. Since then, female senators have been allowed to wear sleeveless dresses, similar to the House of Representatives, where this change was already implemented a few years ago. Religious headscarves were also allowed in Congress in 2019.

It was different in the Senate. The only exception applied when voting: Senators were allowed to place one foot on the floor of the Senate from an adjacent chamber and then vote “yes” or “no”, without entering the chamber.

Denton Watson

"Friend of animals everywhere. Evil twitter fan. Pop culture evangelist. Introvert."

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