Nearly every GOP senator has signed a letter blasting the Senate's new dress code: 'We must protect the sanctity of that place at all costs'

John Fetterman
Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, right, is known for his more casual attire.AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib
  • Nearly every GOP senator signed a letter blasting Schumer's decision to relax Senate attire rules.

  • "Allowing casual clothing on the Senate floor disrespects the institution we serve," the 46 senators wrote.

  • John Fetterman, known for his more relaxed attire, poked at GOP senators fretting over the change.

The decision by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to relax the informal dress code that members wear business attire on the Senate floor erupted into a firestorm of criticism by Republican senators, who see the decision as one that debases the institution.

With the policy change from the New York Democrat, all 100 senators are now able to dress down while conducting official business in the Senate chamber, a departure from the longstanding attire of suits and ties for men and dresses with covered shoulders or pantsuits for female lawmakers.

But far from feeling liberated by the chance to wear more relaxing clothes while giving major speeches, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida and 45 of his fellow GOP colleagues on Tuesday wrote a letter to Schumer pushing back against the change and asking the veteran lawmaker to reverse course.

"The Senate is a place of honor and tradition, and the Senate floor is where we conduct the business of the American people," the letter read. "It is where we debate the policies which impact every American family and, when necessary, it is where we must make the gravest decision imaginable – whether to send our fellow Americans into battle to defend the freedoms we all hold dear."

"The world watches us on that floor and we must protect the sanctity of that place at all costs," the letter continued. "Allowing casual clothing on the Senate floor disrespects the institution we serve and the American families we represent."

The 46 senators expressed their "supreme disappointment" in the change and call on Schumer to "immediately reverse this misguided action."

Scott followed up to the letter on Tuesday with a post on X, where he called the Senate "a special place."

"It's not hard to show it some respect and dress like a grown up," he wrote.

Sens. Mike Braun of Indiana, Katie Britt of Alabama, and Josh Hawley of Missouri did not sign the letter.

The new directive would allow Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, the freshman Democrat whose hoodie-and-shorts attire is seen as a major part of his political brand, to wear his preferred outfits while on the floor.

On Monday, Fetterman poked at Republican lawmakers who were fretting over Schumer's decision.

"Oh my god!" he told The New York Times regarding the possibility that he'd preside over the Senate sporting a hoodie. "I think it will be OK. The Republicans think I'm going to burst through the doors and start break dancing on the floor in shorts. I don't think it's going to be a big issue."

However, Sen. Joe Manchin — a fellow Democrat — was not happy with the decision.

The West Virginia lawmaker told The Times that he recently spoke with Fetterman and informed him that he felt the change was "wrong."

Read the original article on Business Insider