Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Meanwhile, Over in the Senate: You Got The Look

While things are not going great in the House right now, the good news is that our long national nightmare in the Senate is finally over. That's right, a group of mostly Republican senators, led by Republican senator Mitt Romney (UT) and honorary Republican senator Joe Manchin (WV), has written up and passed a formal dress code for the floor of the Senate. That brings an end to the laissez faire dress code that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced just last week, and it means that Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) will once again be forbidden from wearing a hoodie and flip-flops to work. Who said the Senate can't get things done?

We mention this news for just one reason. Given how much dysfunction there is in Congress, including in the Senate, it makes an interesting statement about priorities that this got done in just a matter of days. That statement becomes even more interesting up against the backdrop of a looming government shutdown. We understand full well, of course, that a dress code is a slightly easier thing to hammer than the federal budget, and that the current holdup with the budget is really the House and not the Senate. But most voters don't follow politics as closely as we, and as the readers of this site, do. And we can imagine that if your average voter learns that the upper chamber was focusing on a dress code the same week the government was shut down, that might make that voter none too happy.

If there is voter pique over the choices being made by the senators, we doubt that pique will be visited on members of one political party substantially more than on members of the other political party. Still, given the not-too-great optics of the situation, and given that the American people should have every reason to believe that getting the budget in order is priority #1, couldn't this have waited another week or two? Is it really that big a problem if Fetterman wears his flip-flops to work a few more times? (Z)

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