Boehner reminds members of dress code: ‘You know who you are’

Greg Nash

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) halted floor proceedings Wednesday to remind members of chamber decorum.

During the final vote series of the day, Boehner reiterated the rules for proper behavior on the House floor. Boehner, who is known for ribbing lawmakers and reporters for their attire, has made reminding members of House rules a regular practice.

{mosads}Many lawmakers frequently wear jeans or casual shoes to the House floor, particularly during the first vote series of the week that are usually close to dinnertime.

“Members should wear appropriate attire during all sittings of the House, however brief their appearances on the floor may be. You know who you are,” Boehner said to laughter.

Boehner also reminded lawmakers not to take pictures while they are on the House floor. Photography is prohibited in both the House and Senate chambers.

“Members should refrain from engaging in still photography or audio or audio recording in the chamber. Taking photographs detracts from the proceedings and presents security and privacy challenges for the House,” Boehner said.

The Speaker further urged members to arrive to the floor to vote within 15 minutes after the bells ring across the Capitol complex signaling a vote. The first vote of a series is typically allotted 15 minutes, but it often takes close to 30 minutes for all 435 members to walk from their offices or elsewhere to the floor.

“Members should attempt to come to the floor within 15 minutes as prescribed by the first ringing of the bells. This has been an ongoing problem and members should make every attempt to be here within the prescribed 15 minutes,” Boehner said. 

Boehner said that the House will try to “accommodate” members who are late arriving to the floor.

“Members should be advised that if they are in the chamber attempting to vote, the chair will try to accommodate them. But as a point of courtesy to each of your colleagues, voting within the allotted time would help with the maintenance of the institution,” Boehner said.

Boehner said that adhering to the House chamber rules dignifies the environment.

“Following the basic standards of practice will foster an atmosphere of mutual and institutional respect and will ensure against personal confrontation amongst individual members, between members, and the presiding officer,” Boehner said.

“It will enable accurate transcriptions of the proceedings and, in sum, will ensure the comity that elevates the spirited deliberations above mere arguments,” Boehner concluded.

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