Democrats are seeking to overturn a 181-year-old ban on wearing head coverings in the United States House of Representatives in a bid to accommodate lawmakers’ religious beliefs.

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), incoming Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Rep.-elect Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) proposed the rule change as part of a wider reform package, according to U.S. media. The move would enable legislators to don Jewish skullcaps, or kippahs, as well as Islamic headscarves, or hijabs, inside the House chamber of the Capitol.

The push to overturn this ban comes as 2 Female Muslim representative’s have just been elected to Congress; Democrat Rashida (Michigan) and Ilhan Omar (Minnesota)

Ilhan Omar is pushing hard for the reform as she recently tweeted;

“No one puts a scarf on my head but me. It’s my choice—one protected by the first amendment. And this is not the last ban I’m going to work to lift,” Omar wrote on Twitter Saturday.


On September 14th 1837, the US Congressional House adopted a rule stipulating that no Member could wear a hat on the floor during a session of the House. With virtually no debate, the rules were modified to read: “Every member shall remain uncovered during the sessions of the House.”

Strangely this ban did not extend to the  Senate.