In a radio interview during his candidacy last year, Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman expressed his intention to follow any dress code if he won a seat in the Senate. When questioned on the Big K Morning Show in early October 2022 about wearing his signature hoodie on the Senate floor, he mentioned he would only wear attire as prescribed by the dress code. He added that it wasn’t about his clothing choice, suggesting that voters should prioritize issues over appearance.
However, post his election and subsequent swearing-in in January, Fetterman has been frequently spotted in the Senate wearing his usual gym shorts and hoodie. He also devised a method to sidestep the dress code when voting. He would cast his vote from the Democratic cloakroom’s entrance or a side door, ensuring his vote was recorded before making a swift exit.
Recently, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer discreetly informed that the Senate’s dress code has been made more lenient, albeit this does not apply to visitors. “Senators can now decide their attire on the Senate floor, though I’ll still be in a suit,” remarked Schumer.
Some conservatives expressed their displeasure at this, coining it the “Fetterman Rule” and criticizing the perceived decline in the Senate’s decorum standards. Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene voiced her disapproval on X, emphasizing that dress codes are a societal benchmark reflecting respect and etiquette for institutions.
Responding to the backlash, Fetterman commented to Fox News Digital, “I’m puzzled as to why there’s such an uproar, as though it’s the end of the world. Personally, I see it as a positive development.”