Senate Changes Dress Code, Conservatives Unhappy

( – If there’s a poster boy for the new more “relaxed” dress code for the U.S. Senate, it would Democratic Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman, who recently strolled through the Senate’s august halls in what many would be wearing on a cold, lazy day at home: a messy hoodie, baggy shorts, and sneakers.

The first-term senator was obviously the first to fully embrace the more laid-back rules on proper attire for the Senate. The Senate does not have a formal dress code per se, but it has always been an unspoken rule for everyone, especially those on the Senate floor to be wearing business attire – and this unspoken rule was strictly enforced by the members of the chamber’s Sergeant-at-Arms.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who implemented the change, said that the new rules simply allow senators to choose what to wear to work. Schumer said that personally, he would continue to wear a suit.

For Senator Fetterman, the relaxed clothing guidelines are a reflection of the American right to choose.

““America … it’s about freedom and choice,” he said, also comparing the new rules to the “Burger King ‘You Rule’ kind of a thing.”

The Democrat’s ostensibly sudden cavalier attitude towards the dress code in the senate was slammed by Republicans. Republican Maine Senator Susan Collins mockingly joked that the rules would allow her to wear a bikini on the Senate floor. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said flat out, “It stinks,” while West Virgina Senator Shelley Moore Capito said that the relaxed dress code was a “terrible” idea.

On a more serious note, Collins explained that Senators should conduct themselves with dignity, and attire like the one sported by Fetterman “debases the institution.”

Another GOP member in the senate, Kansas’ Roger Marshall, agreed with Collins, saying that senators should remember that they do not represent themselves, but their constituents, and proper attire shows that they honor the commitment and privilege to represent the people. “Senators should have a certain level of decorum.”

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