Is it the Senate or a giant beach party?
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.) joked that she will don a bathing suit for Senate votes while roasting the recent loosening of the dress code.
“I plan to wear a bikini tomorrow to the Senate floor and Chris Coons is gonna wear shorts because there’s no dress code anymore,” Collins, 70, quipped to reporters Monday.
“Obviously, I’m not going to wear a bikini,” she then clarified. “But the fact is, as I understand it, I could!”
Collins was voicing her disdain for the more lax dress requirements for Senators announced on Sunday, which she decried as a move that “debases the institution.”
“I think there is a certain dignity that we should be maintaining in the Senate, and to do away with the dress code, to me, debases the institution,” she added, per the Washington Examiner.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) confirmed the change Sunday, which has been dubbed by critics as the “Fetterman Rule.”
Schumer noted that he personally will stick to the classic suit and tie.
Previously, men in the Senate were expected to coats and ties. Schumer directed the chamber’s sergeant-at-arms to stop enforcing that for senators.
But the rule still applies to staffers.
As a result, Fetterman will no longer have to shout “Aye” or “Nay” from the doorway to the chamber.
Instead he can wear his signature baggy t-shirts or hoodies and giant shorts on the Senate floor in full view of the clerk and C-SPAN cameras.
Fetterman had almost entirely abandoned any efforts to adhere to the dress code after he was released from the hospital following a battle with clinical depression.
A cacophony of Republicans dogpiled on Fetterman, prompting him to go into full troll mode on social media.
“I figure if I take up vaping and grabbing the hog during a live musical, they’ll make me a folk hero,” Fetterman posted on X, formerly Twitter.
His dig at Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Col.) weekend groping escapade earlier this month at a Beetlejuice musical was posted from his official Senate account as were many of his other retorts.
Not all Republicans ripped the decision. Collins’ kindred spirit, fellow moderate Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) appeared fine with it.
“I’m not so hung up on things to think that every single day a man needs to wear a necktie. If I had my way, we would have summer casual for men so we didn’t have the air conditioning so low and spend so much money keeping this place cold,” Murkowski told reporters.
Fetterman has been known to break out the snappy business suit on occasion during extraordinary circumstances such as when he was sworn into the upper chamber earlier this year.
The Pennsylvania senator has sought to exude a blue collar working class vibe. His 2022 victory marked the Senate flip of that election cycle.
Other members of the Senate have donned casual clothes around the Capitol in the past while scrambling from gym sessions to votes. But Fetterman has taken it a step further.