A young female reporter was barred from entering an area outside the House chamber, in an area called the Speaker’s lobby. The reasoning? She had bare shoulders.
The woman tried to improvise by ripping out pieces of paper and turned them into sleeves, but she was still rejected from the area. An officer tasked with overseeing the area said that wasn’t going to cut it.
The rule reportedly started being enforced in May, when Independent Journal Review‘s Haley Byrd was booted from the Speaker’s lobby. This rule is not in place in either the White House or the Senate area of the Capitol.
“When I was kicked out that day, I was just trying to pass through the area to reach another hallway, but I was told I was violating the rules. They offered to find a sweater for me to put on, so it wasn’t some tyrannical end of free press, but I opted to just go around instead. But recently they’ve been cracking down on the code, like with open-toed shoes,” Byrd told CBS News. “I suspect the rules are being emphasized now that it’s summertime and excruciatingly hot outside and everyone is dressing for the weather.”
According to written rules, everyone must wear “appropriate attire,” which is very subjective.
CBS noted that “these rules are far from clear-cut and there are no visible signs defining them.”
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