Headline RoundupSeptember 19th, 2023

Schumer Relaxes Senate Dress Code, Sparking Backlash From GOP Lawmakers

Summary from AllSides News Team

The Senate is relaxing its informal dress code, allowing senators to dress however they please in the chamber.

Details: A statement from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, “Senators are able to choose what they wear on the Senate floor. I will continue to wear a suit.” Outlets are attributing the rule change to Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), who is known for his casual attire of gym shorts and a hoodie. Until now, Fetterman would frequently vote from the door frame of the chamber when dressed casually to adhere to chamber decorum. Under the new guidelines, senators are allowed to wear whatever they want, but others inside the chamber have to comply with the formal dress code. 

Response: The rule change is being criticized by conservative lawmakers and media voices, with Fetterman frequently singled out. In a social media post, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) said, “Dress code is one of society’s standards that set etiquette and respect for our institutions. Stop lowering the bar!” Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) said, “If my interns can put on a suit so can a U.S. Senator.”

How the Media Covered It: The rule change is being covered across the spectrum. The Hill (Center bias) noted other lawmakers besides Fetterman who have worked around the rules to vote on bills while wearing casual attire. USA Today (Lean Left bias) broke down how the chamber’s changing standards reflect changing standards in the American workplace. Fox News (Right bias) focused coverage on conservative backlash.

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