Fetterman Says He'd Wear a Suit to 'Save Democracy'

Democrat promises to dress up if Republicans avoid government shutdown
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2023 6:35 PM CDT
Fetterman Says He'd Wear a Suit to 'Save Democracy'
Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., speaks with reporters as he walks to a vote on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023 in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Now that Sen. John Fetterman officially is free to dress down for appearances in the US Senate, he's offering to put on something more formal—if congressional Republicans meet his conditions. "If those jagoffs in the House stop trying to shut our government down, and fully support Ukraine," the first-term Democrat said Wednesday, WHTM reports, "I will save democracy by wearing a suit on the Senate floor next week." Although its origin may be as offensive as it sounds, "jagoff" was added several years ago to the Oxford English Dictionary as a western Pennsylvania term for "a stupid, irritating, or contemptible person," per KDKA.

Two days after Majority Leader Chuck Schumer dropped the Senate's unwritten dress code, Fetterman broke ground Wednesday by wearing shorts, sneakers, and a short-sleeve shirt while presiding over the chamber, per NBC News. Republicans have officially objected to the dress code change. Congress has to approve a funding bill by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating, but House Republicans are tied up in knots over the issue. Hence Fetterman's challenge. (Read more John Fetterman stories.)

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