McConnell: I’ll sit ‘where I usually sit’
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) does not have a Democratic colleague to sit with during Tuesday’s State of the Union.
Asked on ”Fox News Sunday” whether he will sit at the Republican leadership table during President Obama’s speech, he said, “I’m going to sit where I usually sit.”
“We don’t have seating assignments for most of our members. They can sit anywhere they want to,” he added.
“More important than the appearance of sitting together is what we do together. And the American people are more interested in actual accomplishments on a bipartisan basis here in the next six to nine months than they are with the seating arrangement at the State of the Union,” he said.
Instead of sitting by party, many Democrats and Republicans have been pairing this year to show a spirit of bipartisanship after the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) two weeks ago.
Appearing on the same program, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) confirmed he will sit with Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) during the State of the Union.
On ABC’s “This Week,” Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) said they did not have “dates” yet for the State of the Union.
On the program, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) asked Hutchison if she would like to sit next to him. Her response was not broadcast on the show.
On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he’s going to sit with Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), while Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who came up with the mixed-seating idea and circulated a pledge among his colleagues, sits in McCain’s usual seat.
“The fact is it’s a good thing to do,” McCain said. “Why not?”
Later on Sunday, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) tweeted that his “date” to the State of the Union will be Sen. Ron Wyden (R-Ore.). Grassley noted that he was worked with Wyden to try to end the practice of secret Senate holds on nominations and legislation. “He invited,” Grassley wrote.
Bridget Johnson contributed to this post. Post was updated at 2:27 pm.
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