Nearly two dozen women in the House, all Democrats, donned sleeveless dresses or blouses on Friday to urge Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to make good on his promise to make changes to the lower chamber's dress code.
The lawmakers posed for photos flexing their muscles, wearing sleeveless attire after Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., called on her colleagues to "bare arms" and go sleeveless to stand in "solidarity" with reporters who were recently admonished for "inappropriate attire" in the Speaker's Lobby.
"Thank you to all my colleagues who joined me for #SleevelessFriday — because women have the right to bare arms!" Speier said in a tweet.
Ryan has faced backlash over the last two weeks after reporters said they were blocked from entering the Speaker's Lobby because of their sleeveless blouses or dresses. The dress code, which also bans open-toed shoes, has been in place for years but became a social media fixation.
Ryan announced Thursday that the dress code enforced in the House chamber and adjoining Speaker's Lobby will be modernized to reflect "acceptable business attire."
While it is not written in House rules that female members, their aides, and reporters must cover their arms, it has been a policy that has been enforced for well over two decades.
According to House rules, the only article of clothing that is barred are hats, which have been prohibited from the floor since 1837.