ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports:
In the wake of the Arizona shooting, members of Congress should sit together at President Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address, rather than divided by party as tradition dictates, a senator suggested today.
“What Americans see when they watch it on TV is a Congress that is bitterly divided by party,” Sen. Mark Udall, D-CO, said in a statement. “It sets a negative tone that only perpetuates the narrative that Congress cannot – and will not – come together for the good of the country we all love. Beyond custom, there is no rule or reason that on this night we should emphasize divided government, separated by party, instead of being seen united as a country.”
“After serving over a decade in the House and Senate, I know that more unites us than divides us, and now – more than ever – we need to find ways to dial down the political rhetoric and set a positive example for all Americans,” he said. “Our country has been talking about changing the way Washington works, and now it’s time to take action by crossing the aisle and sitting together.”
“It’s a simple step, but an important one that will go a long way in bridging our political divide,” he said. “So I’m asking my colleagues to join me in sitting side-by-side in a symbolic gesture that reflects the diversity in the communities we represent.”
Udall is asking other members of Congress to join him in signing a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House John Boehner, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
The State of the Union is set for January 25.