KPBS – Bipartisan Congress Members ‘Get Pinned’ For State Of Union
WASHINGTON — Freshman San Diego Congressman Scott Peters will join about 40 other members of Congress tomorrow, wearing a bipartisan pin during the President's State of the Union address.
The pin will say "Stop Fighting, Start Fixing." It demonstrates a congressperson's membership in a newly formed club called No Labels' Problem Solvers. Spokesmen say the group is committed to developing relationships across parties to pass legislation and solve problems.
"Wearing this pin is a statement that we've got to do a lot more than set together," said No Labels' co-chair and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. "We've got to work together."
Peters said Republicans and Democrats will try to make the most of their symbolic action on Tuesday by violating the custom of sitting on different sides of the aisle. He said they are making State of the Union "dates" with members of the opposing party so they can actually sit together during the speech.
"We've reached out for some bipartisan companionship, and I'm sure will have that nailed down by Tuesday," said Peters.
Peters said new members of Congress, like himself, have arrived with a mission to work across the aisle.
"To a person, everyone who go elected last November for the first time will tell you that they were sent here to get things done, not to fight political games," he said. "It's very constructive. I hope it can last."'
A "No Labels" press release names 37 of the 40 members of Congress that are claimed by the bipartisan club. Named members include 23 Democrats and 14 Republicans. Most of them are members of the House. Three U.S. Senators, two Democrats and one Republican, are also on the list.