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Over 120 Members of Congress Support No Labels' Call for Bipartisan Seating at State of the Union

Groundswell of Support for Members to Sit with Opposite Party

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As of noon on Wednesday, Jan. 18, over 120 members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have agreed to sit in a bipartisan fashion at President Obama's State of the Union address on Jan. 24. The call for bipartisan seating was initially conceived last year by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), in conjunction with the think tank Third Way. No Labels has made bipartisan seating at the State of the Union and all joint meetings of Congress one of the 12 proposals in its Make Congress Work! action plan.

No Labels has an updated tracker of members who have agreed to sit together at the State of the Union on its website and took out a full-page ad in The New York Times last Friday calling for bipartisan seating.

"Last year, when Senator Murkowski and I called on our colleagues to put aside partisanship and sit together during the State of the Union address, the idea resonated with people across the country because Americans are tired of the division in Washington," Udall said. "The overwhelming support for this idea proves that it's time to make bipartisan seating a permanent tradition. Let's show the American people that we all play for the red, white and blue team – not just the red and blue teams."

"By no stretch do Senator Udall and I believe this gesture will put an immediate halt to the argument culture rampant on Capitol Hill, but it is a step in the right direction when it comes to opening up the lines of communications," Murkowski said. "Republicans and Democrats have legitimate core differences of opinion on many issues, but party lines are not brick walls – there are areas of agreement and possible collaboration between the parties. Opportunities like sitting together at the State of the Union can do nothing but help identify common ground."

"The first step is sitting together, the next is speaking together and the third is working together. It's a long road back to genuine civility and effectiveness for this Congress, but every journey begins with a single step," said Third Way President Jon Cowan.

The members of Congress who have signed on thus far to sit with members of the opposite party are:

  • Senator Mark Udall (D-CO)
  • Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
  • Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
  • Senator Mark Begich (D-AK)
  • Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO)
  • Senator Tom Carper (D-DE)
  • Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)
  • Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
  • Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND)
  • Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)
  • Senator Dean Heller (R-NV)
  • Senator John Hoeven (R-ND)
  • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
  • Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
  • Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE)
  • Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD)
  • Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL)
  • Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
  • Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT)
  • Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)
  • Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
  • Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
  • Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE)
  • Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)
  • Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)
  • Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)
  • Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
  • Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL)
  • Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
  • Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
  • Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA)
  • Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)
  • Representative John Barrow (D-GA)
  • Representative Tim Bishop (D-NY)
  • Representative Dan Boren (D-OK)
  • Representative Leonard Boswell (D-IA)
  • Representative Bruce Braley (D-IA)
  • Representative Ken Calvert (R-CA)
  • Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
  • Representative Lois Capps (D-CA)
  • Representative Russ Carnahan (D-MO)
  • Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL)
  • Representative Hansen Clarke (D-MI)
  • Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)
  • Representative Howard Coble (R-NC)
  • Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO)
  • Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN)
  • Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA)
  • Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN)
  • Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT)
  • Representative Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
  • Representative Susan Davis (D-CA)
  • Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO)
  • Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
  • Representative Jeff Denham (R-CA)
  • Representative Norm Dicks (D-WA)
  • Representative Robert Dold (R-IL)
  • Representative Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
  • Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY)
  • Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA)
  • Representative Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
  • Representative Stephen Fincher (R-TN)
  • Representative Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
  • Representative John Garamendi (D-CA)
  • Representative Cory Gardner (R-CO)
  • Representative Chris Gibson (R-NY)
  • Representative Kay Granger (R-TX)
  • Representative Gene Green (D-TX)
  • Representative Tim Griffin (R-AR)
  • Representative Michael Grimm (R-NY)
  • Representative Brett Guthrie (R-KY)
  • Representative Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI)
  • Representative Richard Hanna (R-NY)
  • Representative Nan Hayworth (R-NY)
  • Representative Joe Heck (R-NV)
  • Representative Brian Higgins (D-NY)
  • Representative Kathy Hochul (D-NY)
  • Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA)
  • Representative Tim Johnson (R-IL)
  • Representative Jack Kingston (R-GA)
  • Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
  • Representative Tom Latham (R-IA)
  • Representative Bob Latta (R-OH)
  • Representative Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
  • Representative Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)
  • Representative Dave Loebsack (D-IA)
  • Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY)
  • Representative Ben Lujan (D-NM)
  • Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA)
  • Representative Tom Marino (R-PA)
  • Representative Mike McIntyre (D-NC)
  • Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY)
  • Representative Michael Michaud (D-ME)
  • Representative Chris Murphy (D-CT)
  • Representative Bill Owens (D-NY)
  • Representative Donald Payne (D-NJ)
  • Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
  • Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)
  • Representative Jared Polis (D-CO)
  • Representative Bill Posey (R-FL)
  • Representative Todd Platts (R-PA)
  • Representative Nick Rahall (D-WV)
  • Representative Tom Reed (R-NY)
  • Representative Laura Richardson (D-CA)
  • Representative Cedric Richmond (D-LA)
  • Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
  • Representative Mike Ross (D-AR)
  • Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA)
  • Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)
  • Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
  • Representative Aaron Schiff (D-CA)
  • Representative Robert Scott (D-VA)
  • Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA)
  • Representative John Shimkus (R-IL)
  • Representative Adam Smith (D-WA)
  • Representative John Tierney (D-MA)
  • Representative Scott Tipton (R-CO)
  • Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY)
  • Representative Tim Walz (D-MN)
  • Representative Frederica Wilson (D-FL)
  • Representative Steve Womack (R-AR)
  • Representative John Yarmuth (D-KY)

No Labels is a group of Republicans, Democrats and Independents who want our government to work again. Our dozen proposals to make Congress work mostly don't require new laws or new spending, and don't favor any party or particular cause. These are simple, straightforward proposals to break gridlock, promote constructive discussion and reduce polarization in Congress. They can mostly be adopted all at once when the next Congress convenes in January 2013.

For more information on the Make Congress Work! action plan or to arrange an interview with a No Labels co-founder, please contact Sarah Feldman at [email protected] or (202) 588-1990. To learn more about No Labels, please visit www.NoLabels.org.

Contact: Sarah Feldman at 202-588-1990 or [email protected]

SOURCE No Labels

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