Manchin Suggests Reinstating Senate Dress Code

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., has proposed reversing Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s D-N.Y., relaxation of the Senate dress code, igniting fresh debate on Capitol Hill, according to The Hill.

Schumer’s directive, permitting senators to forgo traditional attire in favor of casual wear on the Senate floor, faces criticism. Critics argue the move was made to accommodate Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., known for his unconventional Capitol Hill wardrobe, featuring hoodies and basketball shorts.

“I’ve signed it,” an unnamed senator, who explained it would “define what the dress code is,” told The Hill.

If adopted, the proposal would return the dress code to its pre-weekend norms. Critics of Schumer’s Monday-enacted decision maintain that the Senate should maintain standards for appropriate attire, though acknowledging the need for a debate on defining those standards.

“The senator in question from Pennsylvania is a personal friend,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told “The Briefing with Steve Scully.”

“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.”

Fetterman, responding to the criticism, asserted that the Senate has “more important” issues to address than his clothing choices.

“The Republicans think I’m just going to burst in through the doors and start break dancing on the floor, you know, in shorts, and it wasn’t a big issue,” Fetterman said. “It’s mystifying. I mean, there’s certainly much more important kinds of issues we should be addressing. Instead of like, how if I dress like a bum.”

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, anticipates the matter will ultimately face a floor vote in the Senate.

“It’s just ridiculous that we should have to conform the dress code to the lowest common denominator,” Cornyn said.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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