WASHINGTON — Sens. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) are organizing a Bipartisan Members Group "to create an opportunity for senators to know one another better across party lines."
The group, which is being created to help senators "identify common interests and work on issues that are important to the country," will meet for the first time on Tuesday, Jan. 9.
In a letter to their colleagues, Lieberman and Alexander wrote, “The whole reason for the group is that now almost every spare minute is taken up in partisan team meetings leaving little time for opportunities to know one another across party lines so that we can work better together.”
The text of the letter:
December 20, 2007
We are writing to invite you and all of our colleagues to the first Dutch treat breakfast meeting of the new Bipartisan Members Group on Tuesday, January 9, from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. in S-115 in the Capitol. We will meet each Tuesday at the same time when we are in session.
The purpose of the group is to create an opportunity for Senators to know one another better across party lines so that we can identify common interests and work on issues that are important to our country.
Each week, we will invite the chair and ranking member of a committee with an important issue on the floor (or coming up soon) to give us an update.
Then members present will be invited to discuss any issues on which they are working.
There are several things this new bipartisan group is NOT. It is not an ideological group---it is not liberal, centrist, conservative or any other ideology. It will not endorse any issue. It is not a public meeting and it is not an effort to supplant the leadership. And, it is distinct and different from an issues group which will be chaired separately by Senators Landrieu and Snowe. Both Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell know of the Bipartisan Members Group and we hope they will also attend from time to time.
The whole reason for the group is that now almost every spare minute is taken up in partisan team meetings leaving little time for opportunities to know one another across party lines so that we can work better together.
Several senators have had basically this same idea. So we want to convene the first meeting to discuss our ideas and how best to go forward together.