Senators Call for Monthly Bipartisan Lunches in New Congress

GOP Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.) got their bipartisan cred by hanging out on a deserted island for a week for Discovery’s Rival Survival.


Now, after having speared fish together and drinking out of coconuts, they’re spearheading what they hope will be a tradition in the new Congress: monthly bipartisan lunches.

Flake and Heinrich — and 30 of their colleagues — think it would be a good idea for Harry Reid to literally break bread with Mitch McConnell.

Signatories of the letter sent today to Reid and McConnell were as diverse as Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

“As both the Senate and the nation look toward the 114th Congress and beyond, we believe that better functioning relationships in this body will be a necessary prerequisite in order to meet our common challenges,” the letter states.

“Last year, under your leadership, members from both sides of the aisle were able to come together and have a frank, open and fruitful discussion during the Joint Caucus meeting in the Old Senate Chamber. As you know, nearly half of the members of the Senate are currently serving their first term, a level not seen in 30 years. Soon more new members will join our ranks. We believe that regular bipartisan meetings like the one in July 2013 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,” it continued.


“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. Given that our caucuses already meet separately at least twice weekly, surely scheduling a bipartisan lunch just once a month would make for a workable option.”

Flake and Heinrich can catch lunch; just don’t expect them to cook it.


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