‘Date night’ returns for State of the Union

Looks like “date night” is coming back to Capitol Hill, with Republicans and Democrats on Friday announcing who their bipartisan seat partners will be for the upcoming “State of the Union” address.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) tweeted: “After my call for an end to party seating at the #SOTU, @SenLandrieu & Sen Shelby agreed to #sittogether. I'll be sitting with @MarkUdall.”

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Murkowski and Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall led the push for bipartisan seating at the State of the Union last year. Although it has been tradition for Democrats and Republicans to sit with members of their party during the president’s speech to a joint session of Congress, both sides joined the symbolic effort to show bipartisanship last year.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) asked her Twitter followers to guess who she would be sitting with on Thursday, before announcing it would be Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).

“I hope every member will sit with someone from another party,” Landrieu tweeted.

The bipartisan group No Labels is aiding the effort with a full-page ad in Friday’s New York Times. “Duh!” the ad reads. “Make Congress sit together. Not on opposite sides of the aisle, but actually together. Then they might work, together.”

A press release from the group quotes Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) as two legislators who have signed onto the effort.

In addition, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) wrote a letter this week asking congressional leadership to support and extend bipartisan seating both at the State of the Union and at all committee hearings this year.

The State of the Union is set for Jan. 24.