Bipartisan Seating at SOTU Gains Support

A plan that would “have Republicans and Democrats sit side-by-side during this month’s State of the Union address has picked up support from nearly one-fifth of the Senate,” the Washington Post reports.

Seventeen senators have co-signed a letter drafted by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) to congressional leaders urging them to back the idea of members of both parties sitting next to each other rather than at opposite ends of the House chamber during President Obama’s Jan. 25 address.

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced Friday that she is a "co-leader" of the letter. In addition to the 17 senators co-signing Udall’s letter to leadership, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the third-ranking Senate Democrat, has also come out in favor of the plan.

Among the 17 senators co-signing Udall’s letter are five Republicans — Murkowski and Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Susan Collins (Maine) and Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) — and 11 Democrats — Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.). Connecticut Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman has also signed on.

Update: According to Senator Mark Udall’s press office, Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) are also in support of this effort.

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