Is it the Senate or a giant party on the beach?
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.) joked that she would don a swimsuit for Senate votes while roasting the recent loosening of the dress code.
“I plan to wear a bikini tomorrow to the Senate and Chris Coons will wear shorts because there’s no dress code anymore,” Collins, 70, joked to reporters Monday.
“Obviously, I won’t wear a bikini,” she then clarified. “But the fact is, if I get it right, I could do it!”
Collins expressed disdain for the more lax clothing requirements for senators announced Sunday, which she decried as a move that “devalues the institution.”
“I think there is a certain dignity that we should maintain in the Senate, and removing the dress code, in my opinion, demeans the institution,” she added, according to the Washington Examiner.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) on Sunday confirmed the change, dubbed by critics as the “Fetterman rule.”
Schumer noted that he will personally stick to the classic suit and tie.
Previously, men in the Senate had to wear coats and ties. Schumer ordered the House sergeant-at-arms to stop applying this to senators.
But the rule still applies to employees.
As a result, Fetterman will no longer have to yell “Yes” or “No” from the bedroom door.
Instead, he can wear his baggy T-shirts or giant hoodies and shorts on the Senate floor, in full view of the clerk and the C-SPAN cameras.
Fetterman had almost entirely abandoned any effort to adhere to the dress code after his release from the hospital following a battle with clinical depression.
A cacophony of Republicans descended on Fetterman, prompting him to go into full troll mode on social media.
“I think if I take up vaping and catch the pig during a live musical, they will make me a folk hero,” Fetterman posted on X, formerly Twitter.
His dig at Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Col.) weekend getaway earlier this month at a Beetlejuice musical was posted from her official Senate account, as was many of his other lines.
Not all Republicans rejected the decision. Collins’ soul mate, moderate Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.), seemed fine with that.
“I’m not so addicted as to think that every day a man must wear a tie. If I could, we would have a casual summer for men, so we wouldn’t have the air conditioning so low and spend so much money to keep this place cold,” Murkowski told reporters.
Fetterman is known for occasionally throwing on a snappy business suit in extraordinary circumstances, such as when he was sworn into the Upper House earlier this year.
The Pennsylvania senator sought to give off a working-class, working-class vibe. His victory in 2022 marked the senatorial turning point of this electoral cycle.
Other members of the Senate have already donned casual clothes around the Capitol while moving from gym sessions to votes. But Fetterman went even further.