Majority Leader Chuck Schumer loosens Senate dress code

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has quietly made changes to the Senate’s informal dress code to allow senators to wear whatever they want on the floor, one person with direct knowledge told NBC News.

A notice went out to the Senate sergeant at arms and relevant staff late Friday, and the change will go into effect starting Monday, the source added.

The change would let Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., who is often seen wearing a hoodie and baseball shorts, wear his casual attire on the Senate floor whenever he wants. Fetterman, who was elected during last year’s midterm elections, was seen wearing a suit and tie during his swearing-in in January.

However, the senator has worn his casual clothes after he returned to the Senate following treatment for clinical depression earlier this year.

President Joe Biden and Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro look on as US Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) delivers remarks following a briefing on Interstate-95 highway emergency repair and reconstruction efforts, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 17, 2023.

Julia Nikhinson | AFP | Getty Images

The offices of Schumer and Fetterman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The news was first reported by Axios.

The Senate has operated with an informal dress code enforced by the sergeant at arms, which requires men and women to dress in business attire.

But because the standard is not formal or a written policy, senators at times have been seen on the Senate floor wearing

, golf attire, denim vests, shoes without socks, colorful wigs, among other unconventional attire.

Although senators will benefit from the new change by being permitted to sport casual clothes in the Senate chamber, their staff is still required to wear business clothes under the old dress code. The