Connecticut lawmakers urging Congress to be nice

They may be swimming against a very strong tide in this belligerent Congress, but some Connecticut lawmakers are urging their colleagues to be civil.

And to help promote civility, independent Sen. Joe Lieberman and Rep. Chris Murphy, D-5th District, are urging their colleagues to sit with someone from the rival party when President Obama addresses a joint session of Congress Jan. 24.

For the first time in history, lawmakers paired up with their political opponents at last year’s State of the Union speech.

They returned to their partisan bickering the next day.

But hope springs eternal.

Lieberman is seeking more congressional civility as a member of a bipartisan group of current and former lawmakers that calls itself “No Labels.”

“Senator Lieberman supports the efforts of No Labels because it is committed to advancing bipartisan cooperation to get things accomplished in Washington,” said Lieberman press secretary Jeremy Kirkpatrick.

The group is taking out full page ads in The New York Times urging members of Congress to pair up for the State of the Union speech.

“Yesterday we put the call out for Congress to sit together. Less than 24 hours later, more than 30 lawmakers have agreed to sit with a member of Congress from the opposite party,” said No Labels spokeswoman Nancy Jacobson. “Can you feel it? Our momentum is building.”

Lieberman plans to sit with a Republican at the speech, but hasn’t invited a seatmate. As a member of the “Center Aisle Caucus,” Murphy is also pressing for political rivals to pair up.