One Big Happy Family At the State Of The Union

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.


Photo credit: wikimedia commons


Debbie Wasko
Past Member 7 years ago

Permanent mixed seating should be ALLOWED. Let's see how it breaks down, with personal choice being exercised.

Tana Williams
Tana Williams7 years ago

TPGOP speak with forked tongue

Ahron E.
Ahron E7 years ago

now that the Republicans rule the house the democrats want to be bipartisan. Up until now the Dems have been keeping the Repubs out of law making decision.

Jan W.
Jan W7 years ago

It may be a superficial gesture on Congress' part, but at least it is something.

Now if they can only learn to actually treat each other with respect. As leaders of our country they need to stop blaming each other and the media and lead the way to a kinder America.

If they can't be respectful, why would they expect the American people to be respectful?

Rosella Decker
Rosella Decker7 years ago

I would think it would just cause problems ,you can see they are always on the left or on the right see them next to each other....more confusion for them which its bad enough.

Ed A.
Ed A.7 years ago

Maybe they should take a vote on this very important issue.
Washington needs to grow up!

Brenda Marie C. C.

I think it would be a great idea.

Marina J.
Marina Joslin7 years ago

Joshua I. you are being a bit too harsh on the President. Yes, I understand your disappointment, but voting for a candidate is not enough. We need to be behind them at all times, showing them our support or pushing them a little bit to have them do what we elect them to do. That’s what the millionaires do and that is the reason why they get what they want. One person cannot do it all, he is no God. The President is brilliant, has a good heart and good intentions, but that is not enough. He is against all odds.
The last president who tried to do good, was assassinated. If we really want change, instead of being upset and dissolution, we need to be much more proactive and help pave the road. President Kennedy said “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” President Obama needs our help, and badly.
As for the togetherness of Congress during the State of the Union, I believe is nothing, but theater. See to believe.

Joshua I.
Joshua I7 years ago

All of this political theater is designed for only one thing, "MISLEAD" and DECEIVE us, so that their self-serving corrupt status-quo and still remain the same. I won't even acknoledge the State Of The Union adderss; because, Obama is a traitor to those who voted for him, and because we DON'T have a president in him... Obama is only a PUPPET of misdirection and deception so that the Parasitical Status-Quo can remain the same....

Mark M.
Mark M7 years ago

And next, in both houses, we should start getting speeches by citizens. Most of Congress, the wise men and the dolts, somehow have come to believe that this is their exclusive elaborate club house and office building. NO! WE OWN IT! Congress should be inviting ordinary, well-meaning, passionate citizens to give speeches there. Float a lottery, an essay contest, draw straws, but get ordinary citizens on the floor. Heeding all decorum, circumspection, deference and respect, a truck driver, a teacher, a small business owner, an unemployed airline pilot, a cowboy, a soccer mom, an entrepreneur, a scientist, regardless of party or views, should be invited to render unto Congress real slices of American life for everyone to hear. These Solomons and Lords never invite you me anyone, except a chosen few for a wordless rah rah State of the Union photo op. And there should be a quorum -- a minimum number of Reps or Senators required to attend. Furthermore, put that speech on CSPAN, and elsewhere. Congress likes to hear itself talk. Guess what? If you did more real listening, HOW REAL IS THAT? CONGRESS, YOU MIGHT ACTUALLY LEARN SOMETHING NEW?! AND SHOW THE PEOPLE YOU'RE WAY MORE THAN AN INSULAR BUNCH OF MILLIONAIRES!