Dressing down: GOP senators — and even the Washington Post editorial board — object to Schumer’s Senate dress code decision

News & Politics

Nearly every Republican senator has signed onto a letter pressing Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to reverse course after the lawmaker recently moved to ditch the chamber’s dress code for senators.

Axios reported that Schumer directed the chamber’s Sergeant at Arms not to uphold the Senate’s informal dress code for senators. “Senators are able to choose what they wear on the Senate floor. I will continue to wear a suit,” the lawmaker noted in a statement, according to the outlet.

“Allowing casual clothing on the Senate floor disrespects the institution we serve and the American families we represent. We the undersigned members of the United States Senate write to express our supreme disappointment and resolute disapproval of your recent decision to abandon the Senate’s longstanding dress code for members, and urge you to immediately reverse this misguided action,” a letter to Schumer signed by 46 GOP senators states.

Democratic Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania presided over the chamber on Wednesday while wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt.

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“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,” Fetterman tweeted Wednesday.

Even the Washington Post gave a thumbs down to Schumer’s dress code move.

“We vote nay. Dressing formally conveys respect for the sanctity of the institution and for the real-world impact of the policies it advances. Putting on a suit creates an occasion for lawmakers to reflect, just for a moment, on the special responsibilities with which the people have entrusted them and on a deliberative process that at least aspires to solemnity,” the editorial board wrote.

Axios reported that it was unclear if the chamber’s dress code is really a formal, written policy, noting that it seems to be an informal custom upheld by the Sergeant at Arms. The New York Times reported that there is not a formal, written dress code, but that senators have long been informally obliged to sport business attire.

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