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The Fetterman rule! John hosts Senate wearing casual shirt and no tie
John Fetterman has chaired a Senate Committee wearing an open-necked casual shirt after Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer relaxed the chamber’s dress code. The Democrat donned a dark, short-sleeve button down, baring the tattoos covering his forearms at the hearing on Wednesday afternoon. The rest of the attendees wore smart business attire. Fetterman has previously been forced to vote from the wings after refusing to dress appropriately. He said the clothes made him feel more comfortable and he had received goodwill following treatment for depression earlier this year.
But Schumer’s rule change – which applies to Senators and not staff – now means the 54-year-old self-confessed ‘slob’ is free to wear whatever he likes on the Senate floor. The move has infuriated Republicans who believe that the Democrats are debasing the hallowed institution. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine joked: ‘I plan to wear a bikini tomorrow.’ Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall said it’s a ‘sad day in the Senate’ and that the people who Fetterman and Schumer represent should be embarrassed.
‘I represent the people of Kansas, and much like when I get dressed up to go to a wedding, it’s to honor the bride and groom, you go to a funeral you get dressed up to honor the family of the deceased,’ Marshall said. Senators should have a certain level of decorum, the Republican added. Fetterman thinks it’s no big deal. ‘They’re freaking out, I don’t understand it,’ he said. ‘Aren’t there more important things we should be working on right now instead of, you know, that I might be dressing like a slob?’
Fetterman made light of the controversy on Wednesday as he offered to ‘ save democracy’ by wearing a suit next week – but only if Republicans ‘stop trying to shut our government down’. House Republicans have been finding it hard to avoid a government shutdown toward the end of the month, as a September 30 deadline has loomed over Congress to pass a funding bill.
Fetterman also attended Senate on Monday night wearing casual clothes but made sure to avoid any camera, voting from the doorway. ‘Baby steps,’ he told reporters as he got on the elevator to go back to his office. In the past, if a Senator was not meeting dress code requirements, they would have had to shout ‘Aye’ or ‘Nay’ from the doorway to make it clear that they couldn’t be visible to the cameras. Though many have not listened to the change in rules, some have decided to join in on the casualness with Fetterman. Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar – traveling from Minnesota – and Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski – traveling from Alaska – wore black pants, running shoes and casual shirts on Monday.
‘I would not normally wear this on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday,’ Murkowski told reporters. ‘I mean, it’s a respect thing, it’s like going to church in your jeans, or going to a funeral in jeans.’ Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, did opt to go tieless on Monday evening, noting in the past he would have been reprimanded by Sergeant-at-Arms staff. In what seemed to be a push between Democrats and Republicans, some Republicans haven’t been so upset about the change in rules. On Monday after Fetterman made his initial casual appearance, Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis made sure to comment. He said that Senator ‘has got a lot of problems’ and that the way he has decided to dress is ‘dumbing down’ standards.
Fetterman didn’t hold back and responded with, ‘I dress like he campaigns.’ The change has humorously been dubbed the ‘Fetterman Rule’ due to Fetterman’s preference for a far more casual wardrobe. Schumer later clarified in a statement that senators can now choose their attire on the Senate floor, though he said he personally intended to continue wearing a suit. ‘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.’ It’s unclear if the rules for more formal attire were actually written down anywhere, but Schumer´s directive means that staff will no longer scold senators for their choice of clothing or ask them to vote from the doorway.
Schumer has said that he will continue to sport a suit, despite his prerogative to change the dress code, but Fetterman has clearly taken this change seriously. He has still managed to have a bit of fun with the backlash he’s gotten as he’s added to the conspiracy that his body double is Homer Simpson. He has still managed to have a bit of fun with the backlash he’s gotten as he’s added to the conspiracy that his body double is Homer Simpson. As he went along with the joke, Fetterman took to X and posted: ‘Senator Guy Incognito (D-PA),’ as he referred to a plot line in The Simpsons where the character learns he has a mustachioed doppleganger. Read the full story:
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