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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has axed the dress code that requires legislators to wear professional attire on the Senate floor months after Sen. John Fetterman was slammed for wearing a hoodie.
Schumer (D-NY) quietly directed the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms to stop enforcing the dress code that mandates male senators wear a jacket and tie and female senators a dress or other businesswear on the floor, Axios reported Sunday.
The change in policy comes after Fetterman (D-PA) was bashed by conservatives for donning a hoodie, gym shorts and sneakers to the chamber. Many called his casual fashion choices disrespectful.
“John Fetterman’s attire in the Senate perfectly summarizes Democrats lack of respect for Americans and our institutions,” tweeted conservative comedian Tim Young.
The 6-foot-8-inch tall Democrat often swapped a suit and tie for the informal duds when he returned to Washington following a six-week stint at Walter Reed National Medical Center, where he was treated for clinical depression.
“He’s setting a new dress code,” Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT) joked to the Associated Press in May. “He was struggling. And now he’s a joyful person to be around.”
Fetterman, who infamously hates suits, previously got around the dress code rule by voting from the doorway of the Democratic cloakroom or the side entrance to the Senate floor, rather than the floor itself.
But Schumer’s new directive shows times are changing.
“Senators are able to choose what they wear on the Senate floor,” he told Axios in a statement. “I will continue to wear a suit.”
The policy change goes into effect this week, according to the outlet, which cited a Senate official. However, it only applies to senators and not staff members, who will still be required to wear professional work-appropriate clothes.
The Senate dress code was amended once before to ease up on restrictions for female senators, according to the outlet. About five years ago, the legislative body opted to allow women to show their arms by wearing sleeveless dresses or shirts.