GOP leader endorses bipartisan seating at State of the Union

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Friday endorsed the idea for mixed seating at the State of the Union address.

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He joked he may get to sit next to Democratic whip Steny Hoyer (Md.).

“Steny Hoyer and I try to talk quite often and I would enjoy sitting next to him. I’d go sit by them [Democrats]. It’s an opportunity here and I think the American public would find it as a positive one,” he said.

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) originally proposed ending the tradition of divided seating for the president's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. Lawmakers usually sit on their respective sides of the aisle, although there is no assigned seating, aside from seats at the leadership tables on the floor and at the Speaker's dais.

McCarthy echoed that point "there are no assigned seats — only a couple up at the dais but there’s only a couple on the floor and people can always sit next to one another."

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also seemed to endorse the idea Thursday, when he retweeted Udall's proposal.

Top-ranking Democrats from both chambers have praised the idea. Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third-ranking Democrat who also chairs the Democratic Policy Committee, and Hoyer both said Thursday that they support the idea.

President Obama's State of Union Address will be given Jan. 25.