GOP rep weighs in on House dress code during floor speech

A Republican congresswoman on Wednesday weighed in on the recent controversy over the long-standing dress code for a special hallway in the House, noting her own attire goes against the rules.

After concluding a floor speech about first responders, Rep. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyArizona New Members 2019 House GOP returns to Washington after sobering midterm losses Overnight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — First lady's office pushes for ouster of national security aide | Trump taps retired general as ambassador to Saudis | Mattis to visit border troops | Record number of female veterans to serve in Congress MORE (R-Ariz.) ended her remarks by pointing out her sleeveless dress and open-toed shoes.

“Before I yield back, I want to point out, I’m standing here in my professional attire, which happens to be a sleeveless dress and open-toed shoes,” she said. “With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back.”

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McSally’s comments come days after a report in CBS News detailed the confusion over the dress code, which is enforced in the Speaker’s lobby and the House chamber. The rules, the report said, are unclear and not imposed on the Senate side.

The article included an account from a female reporter who said she was not allowed to enter the Speaker’s lobby because she was wearing a sleeveless dress. Reporters and staff members are expected to abide by the rules, which have long been in place but are allegedly inconsistently enforced.

This isn't McSally's first time pushing back on a dress code. As an Air Force fighter pilot, McSally sued then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld over a rule that required female members of the military to wear an abaya when off-base in Saudi Arabia.

McSally, who was serving as a lieutenant colonel at the time, in her suit argued that the rule was unconstitutional because male members of the military were not mandated to wear “host nation attire” when off-base.