Lawmakers can now wear religious headwear after House Democrats change rules

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn ., middle, meets other Democrat during a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, about the introduction of H.R. 1 – For the People Act.( AP Photo/ Carolyn Kaster)

Congress hasn’t been allowed to wear hats on the House floor since 1837, but the freshly Democratic-controlled House elected to change that to accommodate lawmakers who wear theological headwear.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif ., and Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass ., proposed the changes last-place month and it overstepped Thursday 234 -1 97. The changes allow one of the first girl Muslim members of Congress, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn ., who also co-authored relevant proposals, to wear her headscarf.


The brand-new power speaks: “During the session of the House, a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not wear nonreligious headdress or a hat or remain by the Clerk’s desk during the call of the rolling or the matter of ballots, ” the rule change reads.

Omar celebrated the change Friday on Twitter, announcing it a move to start Congress “more inclusive for all” with an obvious swipe at the Trump administration.

“I thank my colleagues for welcoming me, and I look forward to the day we lift the Muslim ban separating lineages all over the U.S. from their loved ones, ” she wrote.

Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson, known for her broad collection of hats, is seeking to get the rule evoked in 2010, announcing it “sexist, ” according to the Miami Herald.

“It times back to when men wore hats and we know that males don’t wear hats indoors, but maidens wear hats indoors, ” Wilson said. “Hats are what I wear. Beings get excited when they look the hats. Once you get accustomed to it, it’s only me. Some people wear wigs, or high-pitched end shoes or big-hearted earrings or pins. This is just me.”

From left, Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla ., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y ., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn ., Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill ., and Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev ., walk down the House measures in place to take a group photograph of the House Democratic women members of the 116 th Congress on the East Front Capitol Plaza on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, as the 116 th Congress begins.( AP Photo/ Andrew Harnik)

While her efforts were unsuccessful, a spokesman for then-House Speaker John Boehner told PolitiFact: “The rule involving hats has never been interpreted to apply to theological headcoverings.”


Nathan Diament, executive director of the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, which represents the interests of Orthodox Jews, said no Jewish House member had started the ban such issues in the past.

But there have been special House sessions when Jewish lovers wore head coverings — including when Prime minister benjamin netanyahu addressed Congress, and Israeli officials wore kippahs or “kippot” in Hebrew.

“The Orthodox Union have all along substantiated laws and policies that foster the accommodation of religious practices in the workplace, ” Diament told the Washington Post. “Religious traditions — such as wearing religion outfit, whether a kippot or a hijab, should be accommodated in all workplaces — including in the halls of Congress, ”

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