Senate will no longer enforce a dress code for senators

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The United States Senate will no longer enforce a dress code for members of the upper house elected by those they serve.

“However, others entering the chamber must comply with the dress code. Coats/ties for men. Business attire for women,” Chad Pergram, the Senior Congressional Correspondent for Fox News tweeted.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.-New York, quietly sent the directive to the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms, news website Axios reported. 

The change allows Sen. John Fetterman, D.-Penn., to continue wearing his trademark “hoodies and gym shorts” while working for Americans. 

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John Fetterman in his office

Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) is photographed in his office on June 22, 2023 in Washington, D.C.  (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Fetterman was previously praised for “turning heads” and “redefining fashion in the stuffy Senate” during his recovery following a six-week stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was treated for “clinical depression” and “fitted for hearing aids for hearing loss that had made it harder for him to communicate.” 

The senator even found a “workaround” to the legislative body’s dress code rules. 

“He votes from the doorway of the Democratic cloakroom or the side entrance, making sure his ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ is recorded before ducking back out.”

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Fetterman

U.S. Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) (3rd L) speaks as (L-R) Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) listen during a news conference on debt limit at the U.S. Capitol on May 18, 2023 in Washington, DC. A group of Senate Democrats have sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to invoke the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to avoid a debt default if he can’t reach to a deal with Republicans.  (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“He’s setting a new dress code,” Vermont Sen. Peter Welch joked to AP back in May. “He was struggling. And now he’s a joyful person to be around.”

Fetterman faced some backlash against his casual dress code, even from his own staff, according to AP, who “had originally asked him to always wear suits, which he famously hates.” 

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“Senators are able to choose what they wear on the Senate floor. I will continue to wear a suit,” Schumer said in a statement to Axios. The news website adds that Senate officials said the updated rule will go into effect this week.

Fox News’ Jeffrey Clark and Patrick Hauf contributed to this report. 

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