- Associated Press - Sunday, January 16, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two senators from different parties said Sunday they’ll skip tradition and sit together during President Obama’s State of the Union address.

The decision by Sens. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, and Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, comes amid calls for greater civility in political discourse following the fatal shootings last weekend at a political event in Tucson, Ariz.

Mr. Schumer said he and Mr. Coburn hope other lawmakers will follow their example and skip the partisan seating arrangements that usually come with joint sessions of Congress. Mr. Schumer said it’s a symbolic move but one he hopes will help set a more civil tone.

The State of the Union address is set for Jan. 25.

Mr. Coburn and Mr. Schumer spoke Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”


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