Schumer’s Own Deputy Disses Senate Dress Code Suspension: ‘We Need to Have Standards’

Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., participate in the Senate Democrats’ news conference on the tax extenders bill on Thursday, June 24, 2010. (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) own deputy does not approve of his suspension of the upper chamber of Congress’s dress code.

In a radio interview that will air in full on Friday, Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL]professed to be “concerned” about the decision, which was made to accommodate Senator John Fetterman’s (D-PA) preference for gym shorts and hooded sweatshirts.

“The senator in question from Pennsylvania is a personal friend,” insisted Durbin, “but I think we need to have standards when it comes to what we’re wearing on the floor of the Senate, and we’re in the process of discussing that right now as to what those standards will be.”

While the 26-year Senate veteran pulled his punches with Fetterman, he had relatively harsh words for Schumer.

“I can’t understand exactly what he [Schumer] was thinking at that point. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt until I speak to him but I think the Senate needs to act on this.”

Various Republican senators have criticized Schumer for his choice and Fetterman for instigating for it.

“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,” cracked Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) earlier this week.

“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 on a more serious note.

Fetterman has responded to the controversy by declaring that “we should all want to be more comfortable” and mocking his critics.

“The Right have been like losing their mind, they’re just like ‘Oh my God, you know, dogs and cats are living together’ and you know like I said, aren’t there more important things we should be talking about rather than if I dress like a slob?” he asked MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.

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