11:47am

Mon January 27, 2014
Politics

Udall Urges Bipartisan SOTU Seating, Numbers Not Looking Good

Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall and Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski are once again urging members of Congress to cross the aisle and sit with members of the opposite party during Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

The senators are joined by Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ.) and Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ.) in calling for bipartisan seating at this year’s address. More than 190 members chose to sit with the opposite party in 2011, when the idea was first proposed by Udall and Murkowski following the shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

This year however, reports from Washington say the number of participants will be much lower.

“It’s symbolic, but also function will follow form. If you sit together then you’re more likely to find ways to work together,” Senator Udall said. “Partisanship has reached new heights. That’s all the more reason on the State of the Union night to set aside some of those differences”

Prior to 2011, members of Congress would sit with their own parties on opposite sides of the House of Representatives where the President's address takes place.