Centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is circulating a proposal to reestablish the Senate’s dress code, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) loosened over the weekend to allow senators to wear whatever they want on the Senate floor, according to senators familiar with the proposal.
One person familiar with the resolution said it would essentially return the Senate dress code to what it was last week, which required senators to wear coats and ties or business attire when on the Senate floor.
“I’ve signed it,” said one senator, who explained it would “define what the dress code is.”
Schumer’s decision appeared aimed at catering to first-term Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.), whose hoodie was a signature look on the campaign trail in 2022 and who wore a dark short-sleeved collared shirt and dark shorts to work Thursday.
But the decision to loosen the dress code is getting bipartisan pushback, including from Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), who says the Senate should have standards.
“The senator in question from Pennsylvania is a personal friend, but I think we need to have standards when it comes to what we’re wearing on the floor of the Senate, and we’re in the process of discussing that right now as to what those standards will be,” Durbin told “The Briefing with Steve Scully” on SiriusXM’s POTUS channel.
“I think the Senate needs to act on this,” Durbin said.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) described the bipartisan group of senators who want to restore the Senate dress code “the coalition of the rational.”
Cornyn said a Senate resolution will allow “other senators to speak” on the need for a dress code and predicted it will come to the floor.
“It’s just ridiculous that we should have to conform the dress code to the lowest common denominator,” he said.