In a move that the U.S Senate had been considering for some time, a formal dress code has been officially passed. This resolution formalizes a long-standing expectation, that Senators would wear business attire on the Senate floor, was passed unanimously with no objections and little debate.
“Though we’ve never had an official dress code, the events over the past week have made us all feel as though formalizing one is the right path forward,” said Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
This resolution comes in the wake of the well-publicized “Fetterman Rule” and more relaxed dress code policies instated by the Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). This temporary rule prompted criticism from members of both parties, with the Washington Post editorial board also panned the change. This ultimately forced recompense.
It came to a head when Fetterman presided over the Senate.
Sen. Fetterman presides over U.S. Senate for first time since Sen. Schumer said Senate will no longer enforce its dress code for members pic.twitter.com/2epbmOoxmW
— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) September 20, 2023
“Just over a week ago, we all learned that there were not — in fact — any written rules about what Senators could and could not wear on the floor of the Senate. So Senator Romney and I got together and we thought maybe it’s time that we finally codify something that was the precedented rule for 234 years,” Manchin said.
So Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) proposed a bipartisan resolution – the SHORTS Act (a jab directed at Fetterman), which stipulates that men must wear a “coat, tie, and slacks or other long pants” on the Senate floor, with enforcement delegated to the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms unless two-thirds of the chamber vote for a change.
Now that the resolution is passed, the era of the “Fetterman Rule” has ended. It is now clear that Senators must adhere to a high standard of business attire in the Senate chamber. However, this is more than just a matter of fashion. It sends a message that legislators are committed to performing their duties with the utmost professionalism.