(Headline USA) The Washington Post blasted Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in an editorial this week over the Democrat’s change to Senate rules, which allows senators to wear relaxed clothing on the chamber floor.
Schumer directed the chamber’s sergeant-at-arms not to uphold the Senate’s dress code for senators this week, saying “Senators are able to choose what they wear on the Senate floor. I will continue to wear a suit.”
The move comes after Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., who made sweatshirts and gym shorts his signature look on the campaign trail, was barred from entering the Senate chamber for being inappropriately dressed.
After the rule change, Fetterman presided over the Senate wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt.
Even the Post came out against the rule change, arguing Fetterman’s sloppy appearance was disrespectful to the governing body and the constituents he represents.
“We vote nay. Dressing formally conveys respect for the sanctity of the institution and for the real-world impact of the policies it advances,” the editorial said.
“Putting on a suit creates an occasion for lawmakers to reflect, just for a moment, on the special responsibilities with which the people have entrusted them and on a deliberative process that at least aspires to solemnity,” it added.
A top Senate Democrat also broke with Schumer and Fetterman, arguing the Senate has to have “standards.”
“The senator in question from Pennsylvania is a personal friend,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. “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 added he plans to speak to Schumer about reinstating the dress code.
“I can’t understand exactly what [Schumer] was thinking at that point,” Durbin said. “I want to give him the benefit of the doubt until I speak to him, but I think the Senate needs to act on this.”