WASHINGTON — The stuffy Senate is now a bit less formal.
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday that staff for the chamber’s Sergeant-at-Arms — the Senate’s official clothes police — will no longer enforce a dress code on the Senate floor. The change comes after Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman has been unapologetically wearing shorts as he goes about his duties, voting from doorways so he doesn’t get in trouble for his more casual attire.
“There has been an informal dress code that was enforced,” Schumer said in a statement. “Senators are able to choose what they wear on the Senate floor. I will continue to wear a suit.”
Schumer did not mention Fetterman in his statement about the dress code, which will only apply to senators, not staff.
The changes prompted outrage from some of the chamber’s more formal members, eroding a bit of the good will that first-term Fetterman had earned earlier this year when he checked himself into the hospital for clinical depression. He won bipartisan praise for being honest about his diagnosis, which came in the wake of a stroke he suffered on the campaign trail last year. When he returned from treatment, he started donning the more casual clothes,