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Grimm Has Democratic Seatmate for President’s ‘State of Union’ Speech

BAY RIDGE— Maybe the country’s two political parties can work together in Congress after all.

In a move toward bipartisanship, U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, a Republican-Conservative, and U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat, jointly announced that they will sit together in the House chamber during President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address on Jan. 24.

Democrats usually sit with fellow Democrats and Republicans have GOP seatmates during the annual State of the Union Address.

What makes the Grimm-and-Sanchez seating arrangement unique is that the two often spar on cable news shows about various political issues.

But the two lawmakers said they enjoy a solid relationship built on mutual respect. They get along so well that their announcement was filled with playful "insults" aimed at each other.

"While Congresswoman Sanchez often has opposite views and tries to hog the camera in interviews, I am pleased to be sitting with her," Grimm said.

Not to be outdone by her GOP friend, Sanchez, who represents a district in California, hit Grimm right back.

"Even though I'm constantly having to correct Michael on his positions during our joint interviews, I always enjoy a good, bipartisan, spirited debate with him and we need more of that in Congress," she said.

Both Grimm and Sanchez said they hope a bipartisan seating arrangement will lead to more cooperation between the two parties in Congress.

"The country expects and deserves members of Congress to work together, find common ground and put America first," Grimm said.

"I look forward to us attending the State of the Union together and look forward to discussing an agenda with Michael that will move our country forward in 2012," Sanchez said.

— Paula Katinas

January 19, 2012 - 2:44pm


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