Will there be bipartisan seating during this year’s State of the Union address?
For some members, yes. But others won’t be attending the president’s annual address to Congress at all.
Denver’s Fox 31 reported Monday that Rep. Doug Lamborn, a three-term Republican congressman from Colorado, will not attend the State of the Union.
The station reported that, according to Lamborn’s office, the congressman “does not support the policies of Barack Obama,” including the president’s recent recess appointments and his administration’s rejection of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.
Lamborn last made headlines in August, when he compared the idea of working together with Obama to “touching a tar baby.”
The last time Obama gave an address to a joint session of Congress – his September jobs speech – a handful of GOP lawmakers boycotted the event. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had encouraged lawmakers to attend.
But even as Lamborn plans to skip Tuesday’s speech, several dozen lawmakers of both parties have announced plans to sit together during the address in a show of bipartisanship.
Monday afternoon, a bipartisan working group of nine House members – three Republicans and six Democrats – announced that they plan to sit together.
The group’s members are Reps. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Peter Welch (Vt.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), John Carney (D-Del.), Pat Meehan (R-Pa.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Jim Himes (D-Conn.).
The group No Labels has compiled a lengthy list of lawmakers planning to sit together with colleagues from across the aisle.