Following Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) announcement that Senate members would no longer be subjected to a dress code, Senator Susan Collins (R-MA) humorously remarked that she might consider donning a bikini while on the Senate floor.
Senator Collins, aged 70, made it clear that she was not genuinely planning to wear a bikini but rather highlighting the implications of Schumer’s recent rule changes, or the lack thereof. She contends that Schumer’s latest decision diminishes the dignity of the Senate as an institution.
Although Schumer did not explicitly state the reason for this change, it appears evident that it was implemented to accommodate Senator John Fetterman (D-PA). Fetterman has recently been frequently spotted in loose-fitting hoodies, gym shorts, and occasionally opting for a baggy t-shirt instead of a hoodie.
In the past, Fetterman adhered to Senate dress codes by wearing a suit to his duties. However, he abandoned this formal attire following his six-week hospitalization earlier this year due to clinical depression. Prior to Schumer’s announcement, the Pennsylvania Senator found ways to circumvent the rules by vocally casting his votes from the chamber’s doorway instead of donning a suit, which had been the tradition for every Senate member since its inception.
Detractors have already begun labeling Schumer’s announcement as the “Fetterman rule.” In response to criticism, Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) defended his choice of attire during an interview with MSNBC, asserting that there are more pressing matters to focus on than his clothing style.
Numerous Republicans, including Florida Governor and GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, have echoed Senator Collins’s sentiments, emphasizing the importance of upholding standards rather than diminishing them.
However, some Republicans have expressed a different perspective on the rule change, including Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who was seen wearing more casual attire recently. She indicated that she isn’t overly fixated on rigid dress codes, especially in the sweltering summer months, and doesn’t believe that male Senators should be obligated to wear neckties every single day.