GOP senator who's friends with Fetterman says she 'very much' disagrees with the new dress code despite not signing on to her party's letter slamming the change

Republican Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama and Democratic Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania.
Republican Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama and Democratic Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania.Chip Somodevilla and Nathan Howard/Getty Images
  • Just 3 GOP senators did not sign onto a letter condemning the new Senate dress code.

  • That includes Sen. Katie Britt, who's good friends with Sen. John Fetterman.

  • But the Alabama senator says she "very much" disagrees with the change anyway.

Earlier this week, almost every Republican senator signed onto a letter condemning the Senate's newly-relaxed dress code.

The change, enacted by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, primarily impacts Democratic Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, who frequently sports casual clothing while on Capitol Hill and previously had to cast votes from the door of the chamber while doing so.

Three Republican senators, however, did not sign onto the letter.

Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri told Insider this week that he did not sign the letter because the "dress code is not my top priority," while Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana said he didn't sign on because he was "more worried about" the "broken" government spending process and the national debt.

"If it gives me the latitude to walk onto the Senate floor without a tie on, I may think about doing it occasionally," said Braun, who pointed out that he was not currently wearing a tie when asked about the change.

The other Republican who didn't sign onto the letter was Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama, who joined the Senate at the same time as Fetterman earlier this year and has notably established a close bipartisan friendship with the Pennsylvania Democrat.

Britt was reportedly among the first of Fetterman's colleagues to visit him when he was hospitalized with severe depression earlier this year, and her office reportedly sent cookies and brownies to Fetterman's office nearly once a week during that time.

"When I walked in that day, his energy and demeanor was totally different," Britt told the Associated Press of her hospital visit.

Nonetheless, Britt told Insider in a statement on Thursday that she opposes changing the dress code, suggesting her decision not to sign the letter was about avoiding making a fuss about the change through the press.

"I very much disagree with Senator Schumer's unilateral change to the Senate dress code," said Britt. "However, I believe that this is ultimately a disagreement with a colleague and should be handled directly — face-to-face, colleague-to-colleague — not in the media."

Meanwhile, Fetterman has continued to troll those who criticize the way he dresses, including by launching new merchandise riffing off of the outrage while declaring on Wednesday that he would wear a suit if the "jagoffs in the House stop trying to shut our government down."

On Wednesday, Fetterman presided over the Senate in shorts and a Carhartt shirt, later telling reporters that the "world didn't spin off its axis" and that "we will still go on."



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