After Uproar, House Will 'Modernize' Dress Code

Critics say it's only selectively enforced
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2017 1:58 PM CDT
After Uproar, House Will 'Modernize' Dress Code
This image from video provided by C-SPAN, taken July 11, 2017, shows Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., wearing a sleeveless dress while speaking on the floor of the House on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (C-SPAN via AP)

After some uproar about how the House of Representatives enforces its dress code, Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday he and the House sergeant-at-arms will work to update it. The dress code calls for professional attire in the House chamber and the Speaker's lobby, and some female journalists have recently not been allowed to enter the Speaker's lobby due to sleeveless dresses or open-toed shoes. Critics say the dress code is selectively enforced; GOP Rep. Martha McSally even did so Wednesday during a speech on the House floor. "The sergeant-at-arms was simply enforcing the same interpretation of the rules as under my predecessors," Ryan said, per the Hill. "It's nothing new and certainly not something that I devised. At the same time, that doesn't mean that enforcement couldn't stand to be a bit modernized."

Politico notes that the dress code has also been called sexist, and adds that female Democrats were considering a protest. In other dress code news, Goldman Sachs has relaxed its own dress code—at least for one class of employees. Tech employees are now allowed to "exercise judgment in determining when to adapt to business attire," per a memo from late June obtained by Reuters Thursday. Though the memo didn't specifically say whether the techie "uniform" of hoodies and sneakers would be deemed acceptable, Reuters notes that the move was designed to attract talent to its tech division via a more casual environment. Wall Street banks have been finding it difficult to compete with Silicon Valley companies and hedge funds for tech talent. The rest of the Goldman Sachs employees will still be expected to adhere to the normal dress code. (More House of Representatives stories.)

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