Senate Lets Fetterman Wear Hoodie on Floor

Senator John Fetterman
Senator John Fetterman | Image by Ben Von Klemperer/Shutterstock

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has reportedly lifted the informal dress code for U.S. senators, allowing them to wear anything they want while on the floor.

Those affected by the change received a notice on Friday night that stated the new update would go into effect on September 18, according to NBC News.

The informal dress code, which was actually enforced by the sergeant-at-arms, required senators to wear business attire while operating on the Senate floor.

“Senators are able to choose what they wear on the Senate floor. I will continue to wear a suit,” said Schumer in a statement sent to Axios.

Chad Pergram, a Fox News senior congressional correspondent, posted on X — the social media platform formerly known as Twitter — and said that the change will only apply to the senators.

“However, others entering the chamber must comply with the dress code. Coats/ties for men. Business attire for women,” he wrote.

The change is expected to impact Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), who has become known for often wearing a hoodie and basketball shorts. Fetterman and a few other senators previously avoided violating the dress code by entering the Senate floor with one foot still in the cloakroom to cast their votes.

Fetterman would quickly exit the cloakroom after confirming his vote was recorded, as reported by the Associated Press.

The senator initially adhered to the informal dress code after being elected last year but began wearing shorts and a hoodie following treatment for clinical depression, according to Axios.

While there is no written documentation of the Senate dress code, Eric Ueland, a former longtime Senate staffer, said that formal changes should be made to account for the lenient policy.

“Generous interpretations of the Senate floor dress code can only stretch so far before you have to square up and make formal changes,” said Ueland, per Axios.

“Hopefully this round will also protect the floor privileges of senators and staffers who don’t want to wear socks,” he said.

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