Senator Joe Donnelly is calling for more bipartisanship in the United States Senate.
The senator joined more than 30 of his colleagues in urging Democratic leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell to host monthly lunches between the two party caucuses to help “build stronger and more productive relationships among all members of the Senate.”
Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) led the effort, which may seem symbolic, but it would literally bring both parties to the table.
“We believe that regular bipartisan meetings… can help foster the kind of productive relationships that will be critical for the Senate to live up to its reputation as the world’s most deliberative body,” the letter says.
“It is our hope that our respective leadership teams take concrete steps to broaden the relationships and deepen the rapport among members. Specifically, we believe that monthly bipartisan lunches would serve this goal.”
The letter notes that the two parties meet twice weekly within their own caucuses.
“Surely scheduling a bipartisan lunch just once a month would make for a workable option,” the letter concludes.
Indiana’s other senator, Dan Coats, was not among the signatories.
The new Congress meets in January. Republicans will hold the majority for the first time since 2006.