The newly elected crop of Democrat US House members are looking make an impact as soon as they arrive – by seeking to change the dress code rules to allow the wearing religious headwear, like hijabs, on the floor of the chamber.
The so-called ‘hat ban’ has existed since the 1830s, when it was seen as a “harmless but indecorous” practice according to one member at the time.
However, the victory of Congresswoman-elect Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who wears a hijab, has decided that the rue is not fit for practice.
Ms. Omar wrote on Twitter and Instagram: “No one puts a scarf on my head but me. It’s my choice — one protected by the first amendment”.
She and Congresswoman-elect Rashida Tlaib of Michigan are the first Muslim women to be elected to Congress.
Rules changes will be submitted in January by the new Congress to make an exception for members on religious grounds, but also for those wanting to wear a head covering if suffering from an illness.