End partisan seating at State of Union address, Murkowski says

Associated PressJanuary 12, 2012 

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, speaks to reporters about Democrats and Republicans sitting together during President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

CHARLES DHARAPAK / AP ARCHIVE

Sen. Lisa Murkowski is urging a permanent end to the partisan seating arrangement at the State of the Union address. The Alaska Republican is joining Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in asking congressional leaders to institute bipartisan seating.

The two led the push for bipartisan seating in 2011, after the shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Murkowski was to sit with Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski but missed the address when her son had appendicitis.

Udall and Murkowski, in a letter to congressional leaders, said there's an obligation to show there's a place for civility in Congress and that civility can lead to problem solving.

Murkowski says party lines are not brick walls. She says she and Udall see bipartisan seating as a step toward better communication among congressional members.

Anchorage Daily News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service