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'Kumbaya moments' as lawmakers told to sit together
Mike Sheehan
Published: Monday March 12, 2007
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Members of a Senate committee are being urged to sit together in an attempt to foster nonpartisan cameraderie, the Washington Post's "In the Loop" column reports.

Columnist Al Kamen jokingly foresees "Kumbaya moments" on Capitol Hill with Republicans and Democrats "sitting together, holding hands in the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs," he writes for the "Loop."

Chair Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and ranking Republican Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) wrote to committee members last week to urge that during committee hearings, "we will no longer sit with the Democrats on one side of the ... dais and the Republicans on the other. We will have Democrats and Republicans sitting next to each other in assigned seats by seniority," Kamen quotes the letter.

Kamen adds that the suggestion originated with first-term Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who seeks the move "in the interests of expressing the nonpartisanship of our committee."

A news release from Lieberman and Collins, writes Kamen, says that "[Americans] want us to work together and get things done. So, as a start, instead of sitting on opposite sides of the room like a house divided, we want the American people to see us sitting side by side."

Kids Kamen: "What's next: Team colors? A chore wheel? Well, if the new arrangement doesn't work out, at least it will be easier this way to sucker punch your opponent."

The full column item is available at this link.