Jan 12, 2011 5:07 PM by Bea Karnes
DENVER (AP) - Colorado Sen. Mark Udall is asking Democrats and Republicans to sit side-by-side rather than dividing up by party during the State of the Union speech.
Udall, a Democrat, said Wednesday the tradition of having the parties sit on opposite sides of the House chamber is a "negative symbol of the divisions in Congress."
He says the separate seating arrangement is only a custom, not a rule, and emphasizes differences and divisions. Udall has said the assassination attempt against U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona could cool the hot political rhetoric.
President Barack Obama will deliver the State of the Union speech on Jan. 25, his second State of the Union speech and his fourth address to a joint session of the House and Senate.
Udall's suggestion is garnering national attention, including a mention on CNN.