Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, is planning to introduce a bipartisan resolution next week to reinstitute the Senate’s dress code, which requires senators to wear coats, ties, or business attire while on the Senate floor. This move comes after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer relaxed the dress code rules, allowing more casual attire.
The dress code became a topic of discussion due to Senator John Fetterman from Pennsylvania, who often dressed down in basketball shorts, hoodies, or collared shirts for Senate business. Schumer had lowered the dress code standards to accommodate Fetterman, who would otherwise not be allowed on the Senate floor with the previous dress code. However, visitors and others entering the Senate chamber are still required to adhere to the dress code.
Fetterman had circumvented the dress code rules by casting his vote from the doorway of the Democratic cloakroom or the side entrance, ensuring his vote was recorded before discreetly leaving.
Senator Rick Scott, a Republican from Florida, led a letter signed by 46 other GOP senators calling on Schumer to restore the dress code. They argued that allowing informal clothing on the Senate floor “disrespects the institution” and expressed their “resolute disapproval” of Schumer’s decision.
Fetterman also capitalized on the uproar by announcing the release of merchandise on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), poking fun at his own fashion choices.
Manchin’s resolution aims to maintain the previous dress code standards on the Senate floor, potentially reversing Schumer’s relaxed rules. This issue has sparked debates about decorum and the appearance of the Senate as an institution.