The US Senate has officially adopted a resolution that formalizes business attire as the required dress code on the Senate floor. This decision was made unanimously after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stopped enforcing the previous unwritten requirement, which became a point of controversy when Senator John Fetterman began wearing casual clothing. The bipartisan bill, introduced by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and Republican Senator Mitt Romney, mandates that members adhere to a dress code that includes a coat, tie, and slacks for men. The resolution does not specify the business attire for women on the Senate floor.
Senate Majority Leader Schumer expressed gratitude to Senator Fetterman for collaborating on an agreement to formalize the dress code and commended the leadership of Senators Manchin and Romney. Prior to this resolution, Fetterman had already committed to wearing business attire when presiding over the Senate floor. In response to the passing of the measure, Fetterman’s office released a statement coupled with a viral meme featuring actor Kevin James.
This development follows previous instances where attire restrictions in Congress were relaxed. In 2017, then-House Speaker Paul Ryan modified the rules on dress code after objections were raised by congresswomen regarding the prohibition on bare arms. Similarly, in 2019, the Senate rules for women’s attire were amended, allowing the wearing of sleeveless dresses, thanks to the efforts of former Senate Rules Committee chair Amy Klobuchar.