Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has invited Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to sit next to him during the State of the Union address, a Cantor aide confirmed Tuesday.
The aide said “an invitation was extended on the senior-staff level” Monday night and that Pelosi’s office “said they’d be back in touch,” but it was not clear Tuesday morning whether she would accept.
An aide to Pelosi did not immediately respond to an inquiry about whether she would accept the invitation.
Following the Jan. 8 shootings in Tucson, Ariz., that wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), there has been a push for lawmakers to break from the tradition of partisan seating at the State of Union address, which President Barack Obama is slated to deliver at 9 p.m.
On Monday, Cantor criticized Pelosi for not doing enough to engage with the GOP, accusing her of “continuing to drive an ideological agenda” during her first few weeks as minority leader.
Democratic aides say they expect Republican and Democratic leaders to sit together but specifics were still up in the air.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.