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Durbin and Kirk Will Sit Together During Speech

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Dick Durbin, Mark Kirk

Dick Durbin, Mark Kirk

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WASHINGTON (AP) — As an expression of bipartisanship, U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk say they will ignore tradition and sit side-by-side when President Obama delivers his State of The Union Address on Jan. 25.

The Democratic Durbin and Kirk, the newly elected Republican, announced their plans in a joint statement Wednesday.

Traditionally, members of Congress are split by party affiliation, with Democrats sitting on one side of the central aisle in the U.S. House of Representatives chamber, and Republicans sitting on the other. But Illinois’ two senators say the recent shootings in Tucson, Ariz., demonstrate the need for bipartisanship.

Durbin said, quote, “Traditions that divide us were meant to be broken,” and Kirk said he and Durbin would be, quote “Sitting together as Americans, rather than partisans.”

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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