The Washington Post Pans New ‘Fetterman Rule’ For Senate Dress
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 17: U.S. Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) waves to reporters as he arrives at the U.S. Capitol on April 17, 2023 in Washington, DC. Fetterman is returning to the Senate following six weeks of treatment for clinical depression. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

One of the leading Left-leaning newspapers in the U.S. came out staunchly against the Senate’s new dress code, or lack thereof, on Tuesday.

The Washington Post editorial board panned the policy, which was confirmed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Sunday. The paper said the new dress code – which places the personal taste of each senator above the traditional, formal dress requirement – lacks respect for the chamber, regarded as the greatest deliberative body in the world.

“We vote nay,” the Post’s editorial board wrote regarding Schumer’s change to the Senate’s floor dress code.

“Dressing formally conveys respect for the sanctity of the institution and for the real-world impact of the policies it advances. 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,” the editorial continues.

The Post warned that Schumer’s decision, widely viewed as a hand out to Democratic Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, could turn the Senate floor into a showcase of odd outfits with obtrusive political messaging.

“Ultracasual though it is, Mr. Fetterman’s clothing probably doesn’t represent the bottom of the slippery slope upon which Mr. Schumer has set Senate style,” the board says. “It is, however, all too imaginable that attention-seeking lawmakers will don T-shirts emblazoned with the names and mascots of their hometown sports franchises — or inflammatory partisan messages — hoping to go viral on social media and garner small-dollar donations.”

Schumer announced the change, which some are calling the ‘Fetterman Rule,’ in a statement to Axios on Sunday.

“Senators are able to choose what they wear on the Senate floor. I will continue to wear a suit,” Schumer said.

The most immediate beneficiary appears to be Fetterman, known for his casual dress of hoodies and shorts. The Pennsylvania senator has often been seen wearing the outfit outside the Senate chamber around lawmakers’ offices in D.C. Now allowed to wear his preferred outfit on the Senate floor, Fetterman has mocked those who have expressed dismay at the fallen standard.

The rule change has received a frosty reception from many Republican lawmakers.


“Police. Firefighters. Judges. Pilots. They all have uniforms. Ours is a suit and tie. We shouldn’t abandon it because it’s more comfortable to wear sweats,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said in a social media post.

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