House Democrats push to end ban on headwear

Since 1837, Congress hasn’t allowed hats on the House floor. But a group of Democrats are hoping to change that rule to ensure religious headwear is exempted.

House Democrats unveiled a draft rules package Thursday detailing how they would govern the chamber when they take over the majority in Congress next year. Among them is a proposed clarification of a 181-year-old rule against wearing hats on the House floor to allow for religious headwear, including headscarves.

The change was reportedly spearheaded by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; incoming Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass.; and Rep.-elect Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Omar, who is Muslim, wears a headscarf.

“No one puts a scarf on my head but me. It’s my choice – one protected by the First Amendment,” Omar said in a tweet. “And this is not the last ban I’m going to work to lift.”

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