HomePoliticsSchumer Makes Unprecedented Change In Senate For Fetterman – First In History

Schumer Makes Unprecedented Change In Senate For Fetterman – First In History

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Axios has learned that Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) has instructed the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms to stop enforcing the chamber’s informal dress code for its members.

Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.), who prefers exercise shorts and sweatshirts to the formal attire normally required in the chamber, will now be permitted to remain on the Senate floor before and after votes.

On the Senate floor, it is up to the senators to determine what to wear. Schumer told Axios in a statement, I’ll keep dressing in suits.”

When Fetterman was first elected to the Senate a year ago, he wore suits as is customary for senators. Though he was treated for mental distress early this year, he returned to the Senate and has often worn the laid-back manner that made him famous as Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor.

A spokesman for the Senate stated that the revised rule will go into effect this week. The change will only affect senators; staff members must continue to adhere to the previous dress code.

According to this custom, both sexes were required to appear on the Senate floor in professional attire, which for males included a coat and tie. Senators may vote from the margin of the Senate floor, with one foot still in the cloakroom, in order to circumvent the dress code, even if they have just stepped off an aircraft or completed a workout.

To cast their vote, they might leave the room and raise or lower their forefinger. Technically, they were not deemed to have violated the floor’s attire code. This is how Senator Fetterman and others voted.

It is debatable whether the Senate attire code is a formal, documented policy. It appears that the Sergeant of Arms enforces it more as an informal custom.

On Friday, Axios contacted senior officials, but none of them could locate a written copy of the guidelines. This omission has also perplexed a number of social media users.

Between the lines: According to New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer’s book “The Firsts: the Inside Story of the Women Reshaping Congress,” five years ago, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) petitioned her colleagues to make some adjustments in the dress code.

Following male complaints, the attire code for women was relaxed. After that, women were permitted to bear arms on the Senate floor. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) frequently dons sleeveless attire.

In contrast, the more formal House rules have also recently been contested and revised.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) requested that the House Sergeant of Arms revise the dress code for the lower chamber during the summer of 2017.
He was reacting to a social media hysteria regarding the dress code for female correspondents, which grew into a larger political protest movement.

At one point on the House floor, then-Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) said, “Before I yield back, I want to point out I’m standing here in my professional attire, which happens to be a sleeveless dress and open-toed shoes,” CBS News reports.

Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) served as speaker of the House from 2011 to 2015, during which time he was a staunch defender of the previous dress code.

“Despite their brief floor appearances, members of the House should always dress appropriately for all of its sittings. In 2015, Boehner declared, “You know who you are.”

The statement reads as follows: “Generous interpretations of the Senate floor dress code can only stretch so far before you have to square up and make formal changes,” according to longtime Senate staffer Eric Ueland.

“Perhaps this round will also safeguard senators’ and staffers’ floor rights to refuse to wear socks.”

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