CV NEWS FEED // Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV, is leading a coalition of senators from both parties to reverse the decision of Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, to eliminate the Senate’s dress code.
Frank Thorp of NBC News reported Thursday that Manchin is set “to file a bipartisan resolution” next week in order “to ensure the Senate dress code remains consistent with previous expectations.”
The Hill reported that according to “one person familiar with the resolution,” it would “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.”
Many observers have attributed Schumer’s sudden decision to scrap the Senate’s longtime tradition to his apparent appeasement of first-term Sen. John Fetterman, D-PA. Fetterman’s outfit choices often include hoodies, gym shorts, and sneakers.
The Daily Wire noted that the Pennsylvania senator has quickly taken advantage of the dress code change:
Fetterman presided over the Senate on Wednesday wearing a short-sleeve shirt, no tie. On Thursday, he wore the same casual attire for a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Manchin told Politico’s Ursula Perano Tuesday that he personally confronted Fetterman about the end of the dress code.
“John, I think it’s wrong [and] there’s no way I can comply with that,” Manchin later recalled saying. “[I] wanted to tell him directly that I totally oppose it [and] I will do everything I can to try to [uphold] the decorum of the Senate.”
In addition to Manchin, many other senators lambasted what has become known as Schumer’s “Fetterman Rule.” Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, joked to reporters that she was going to “wear a bikini.” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, posted a GIF of a shirtless Jack Black on X (formerly known as Twitter) to make a similar point.
On Tuesday, Collins and Cruz joined 44 of their Republican Senate colleagues in signing a letter to Schumer stating their opposition to his new rule.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA, the most senior member of the Senate, led the letter. In it, the Republicans wrote:
Allowing casual clothing on the Senate floor disrespects the institution we serve and the American families we represent. We the undersigned members of the United States Senate write to express our supreme disappointment and resolute disapproval of your recent decision to abandon the Senate’s longstanding dress code for members, and urge you to immediately reverse this misguided action.
Ideologically, Manchin is one of the few centrists in Congress. While still currently a Democrat, he has recently entertained the idea of leaving the party and becoming an Independent.
He is also considering running for president on a third-party ticket and has stated that he will make a decision either way at the end of the year.