Sen. John Fetterman crashed a news conference held by Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday — and he must not have gotten the memo about what to wear.
The Pennsylvania Democrat appeared at the dais in the Senate media room wearing a white Carhartt hoodie, as his peers wore formal suit and ties.
Fetterman also touted a pair of shorts and sneakers during the news conference.
Sanders — who also appeared with Sens. Peter Welch, Jeff Merkley, and Ed Markey — didn’t address the topic of Fetterman’s clothing.
Fetterman, who returned to his Senate duties after taking a leave of absence to receive depression treatment earlier this year, urged President Joe Biden to use 14th Amendment powers instead of making a government spending deal with Republicans.
Fetterman appeared to read from a written script during his brief remarks during the news conference.
John Fetterman speaks at a press conference on the debt ceiling negotiations. pic.twitter.com/yiXDkFQtMY
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 18, 2023
Some observers called on Fetterman to dress himself in clothes befitting of his office.
Does John Fetterman need to resign?
Would it have killed him to wear a suit as he bumbles through his speech?
— Julia 🇺🇸 (@Jules31415) May 18, 2023
Others didn’t hesitate to call his preferred wardrobe disrespectful.
Dude what is he wearing??? That’s so disrespectful. It’s one thing to show up to the building like that, it’s an entirely different thing to give a press conference like that. Idiocracy doesn’t have to be real life. This guy needs to just resign. He’s not helping anyone including…
— Aaron Hermes (@realAaronHermes) May 18, 2023
Fetterman has at times struggled with auditory processing problems during his Senate tenure.
The former mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, suffered from a stroke during his Senate campaign last year.
His health and fitness for public service has been scrutinized since then, with his critics arguing that the Democrat isn’t fully capable of performing the duties of a U.S. senator.
The group of Democrats criticized Republican plans to cut federal spending in the news conference, blaming the prospect of the United States government defaulting on its debt on them.
Fetterman has long opted for casual clothing, even for official government events, although he appears in a suit and tie for proceedings on the Senate floor and committee rooms.
The Senate doesn’t have a formal dress code, but precedent entails senators wearing formal clothing.