Sen. John Fetterman is known for wearing a hoodie and basketball shorts, so, before Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer changed the rules, he was not allowed to walk on the Senate floor in his typical getup, as the informal but strictly enforced rule was that business attire, meaning a suit and tie for men, was required. Then, Senator Schumer changed the rules and got rid of that dress code, so now Sen. Fetterman can wear his hoodie and shorts on the Senate floor.
Some Senators are fighting back, and not all of them are Republicans. One Senator horrified by the rule and wanting to resist it is West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who is reportedly putting together a coalition to fight against the rule change.
NBC reporter Frank Thorpe, commenting on the matter on X (formerly Twitter), said, “In the ongoing saga of the Senate dress code, a Manchin spox says, ‘Next week, Senator Manchin intends to file a bipartisan resolution to ensure the Senate the dress code remains consistent with previous expectations.‘”
Similarly, POLITCO reporter Ursula Perano posted, “Manchin tells me he spoke to Fetterman today about the Senate dress code change. ‘I said ‘John, I think it’s wrong & there’s no way I can comply with that’…Wanted to tell him directly that I totally oppose it & I will do everything I can to try to hold the decorum of the Senate.‘”
Manchin tells me he spoke to Fetterman today about the Senate dress code change
“I said ‘John, I think it’s wrong & there's no way I can comply with that’…Wanted to tell him directly that I totally oppose it & I will do everything I can to try to hold the decorum of the Senate”
— Ursula Perano (@UrsulaPerano) September 19, 2023
Sen. Fetterman, for his part, told POLITICO that Sen. Manchin had told him it was not a personal squabble, saying that Manchin said he “just wanted to acknowledge that it wasn’t like a personal issue or anything like that. And of course, I said, ‘Absolutely. I get it.‘”
That followed a report in the DC-focused publication The Hill, which claimed, “Centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is circulating a proposal to reestablish the Senate’s dress code, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) loosened over the weekend to allow senators to wear whatever they want on the Senate floor, according to senators familiar with the proposal.”
The Hill added that even Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin is involved in fighting back against the dress code change. During a recent interview, he said, “The senator in question from Pennsylvania is a personal friend, but I think we need to have standards when it comes to what we’re wearing on the floor of the Senate, and we’re in the process of discussing that right now as to what those standards will be.” He added, “I think the Senate needs to act on this.”
Fetterman, in a post on X, said that he would wear a suit if the GOP funds the Ukraine war, posting, “If those jagoffs in the House stop trying to shut our government down, and fully support Ukraine, then I will save democracy by wearing a suit on the Senate floor next week.”
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