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Senate drops dress code enforcement as John Fetterman continues to work in shorts and sweats

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has ordered that the Senate dress code is to stop being enforced, but the change only applies to senators and not working staff.

As Senator John Fetterman continuously takes criticism for appearing in the U.S. Senate in shorts, T-shirts, and hooded sweatshirts, Schumer directed the Senate's sergeant at arms no longer to enforce a dress code for its members.

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

“Senators can now [wear] what ever (sic) they want. However, others entering the chamber must comply with the dress code. Coats/ties for men. Business attire for women,” Fox News reporter Chad Pergram said on his X account.

Senators could previously circumvent the rule on a technicality by voting with a thumbs-up or -down from the edge of the Senate floor with one foot still in the cloakroom.

"Generous interpretations of the Senate floor dress code can only stretch so far before you have to square up and make formal changes," a former Senate staffer, Eric Ueland, told Axios.

In May 2023, the Associated Press reported that Fetterman would vote from the doorway of the cloakroom before retreating back to where his attire was acceptable.

"He’s setting a new dress code,” Democrat Senator Peter Welch joked at the time.

Fetterman recently reacted to news of an impeachment inquiry into President Biden by sarcastically saying "Oh my God, really?!"

"Oh my gosh, it's devastating. Oooh, don't do it, please don't do it," the senator continued. "Oh no, oh no!"

Fetterman also made headlines after he reportedly drove to Michigan from Pennsylvania to join a protest for the United Auto Workers.

"Drove all the way from Pittsburgh because we're a union town here, too. Well, it's an honor to be here," the senator told protesters.

"I always stand for the union way of life, I live across the street from a steel mill and the steel workers, and I came from Pittsburgh because it's a union town as well. I always stand for union," he added.

Fetterman was pictured driving a Ford Bronco all the way to the picket line.

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