WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Me., took their commitment to non-partisanship to an alternate plane Friday in announcing a new dais seating arrangement.
In a letter to fellow Committee members, Lieberman and Collins said that at future hearings, Democrats and Republicans would no longer be seated on opposite sides of the dais but would be seated next to each other in an alternating pattern.
The new plan was the brainchild of Committee newcomer Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
“In the last election, the voters said they were sick of the partisanship that produces gridlock,” Lieberman and Collins said in a joint statement. “They 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 as our Committee members work together make our nation more secure and our government more efficient.”
The new arrangement will be effective starting with the Committee’s next hearing entitled “The Threat of Islamic Radicalization to the Homeland” to be held on Wednesday, March 14, 2007.