It may not be holding hands and signing Kumbaya, but Congress is trying to make a show of solidarity at this year’s State of the Union address by hanging out together, versus in their own party cliques.
Via The Caucus:
Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are embracing the idea of seating lawmakers without regard to party for this month’s State of the Union address, officials said on Thursday.
The idea, proposed by Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, would end more than 200 years of tradition in which lawmakers are almost exclusively seated with members of their own party to listen to the president’s annual address.
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, issued the following statement Thursday afternoon:
“I appreciate Senator Udall’s thoughtful suggestion and believe it is worth serious consideration. We need to look for more ways to be bipartisan. This morning I spoke with Democratic Whip Hoyer and Senator McConnell about the proposal and we will discuss it further next week. After this tragedy, it’s important for our country to see that we all stand together as Americans and this could be one way to demonstrate that.”
And in a show of bipartisanship, the Republicans have agreed to the proposal.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer has signed on to a plan for bipartisan seating at the State of the Union address.
He said Thursday that ending a long tradition of Democrats and Republicans sitting on different sides of the aisle for the national televised speech would show that they consider themselves “Americans first, and Democrats or Republicans second.”
“I believe Congress has a responsibility to set an example of less-ugly, less-divisive debate,” Hoyer said in his statement.
“Coming together to hear an address on the state of our union in a few weeks is an especially important moment to recommit ourselves to approaching our public life with the respect and honesty that our serious, shared problems demand.”
If they want to show some real civility, though, I would suggest just not calling the president a liar in the middle of his speech.
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