Senators ask for another State of the Union 'date night'

"Although this gesture did not end Washington gridlock, we feel it has been a very important step in the right direction, symbolizing the importance of working together to solve the common challenges we face in securing a strong future for the United States," they noted.

Udall first called for the arrangement in 2011, asking for a show of unity in response to the shootings in Tucson, Ariz., that severely injured former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

Dozens of lawmakers joined him in sitting with members from the opposing side.

That year, Giffords' Arizona colleagues, then-Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), kept an empty seat between them in her honor while she was hospitalized from the gun shot wound to her head.

In 2012, Giffords returned to the House to sit with those two lawmakers in the front row during Obama's speech.

This year, Obama will give his annual address on Feb. 12.