The United States Senate - the upper chamber of Congress, comprised of 100 people who’re supposed to be running the country - will no longer enforce their own dress code rules in order to allow ailing Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman to wear his hoodie and basketball shorts on the Senate floor.
According to this, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sent out a memo this week instructing the Sergeant at Arms not to enforce the chamber’s unwritten dress rules, which mandate coats and ties for men and business attire for women. Instead, ”Senators are able to choose what they wear on the Senate floor,” Schumer said in a statement to Axios confirming the memo.
However, all others entering the chamber, including staffers, will be held to the old standard.
Fetterman, who has been hospitalized twice since taking office in January of 2022, has raised more than a few eyebrows for lumbering around the Senate buildings in his signature oversized sweatshirt, gym shorts, and sneakers. The get-up was a trademark for the junior senator when he served as Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor and during his Senate campaign, though his staff assured reporters that Fetterman would be wearing a suit on Capitol Hill post-inauguration just like everyone else. Which, to be fair, he did.
For about four seconds.
Dressing like an adult, however, proved to be too much for Fetterman, who allegedly needs to look like a hobo to keep from getting so depressed that he has to hole up at Walter Reed for weeks at a time. To get around the Senate dress rules, Fetterman has reportedly been casting his votes from the doorway of the Senate cloakroom before vanishing like the Capitol’s resident Sasquatch. But under these new rules - or, rather, the lack of enforcing them - he'll now be able to channel his inner Walmart soccer mom and take to the Senate floor in sweatpants and a pullover. Because, after all, it is all about his personal comfort.
Then again, lowering the standard of professionalism so one cognitively impaired senator doesn't have to put on a pair of slacks seems pretty on par for a group that still includes Mitch McConnell, Diane Feinstein, and…you know…Chuck Schumer.