WASHINGTON (WBBM) — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) says he believes the symbolic gesture of Democrats and Republicans sitting together at the State of the Union Address Tuesday night will carry over into the regular work of Congress.

As WBBM Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, some senators and congressmen say the tragic shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and others in Tucson, Ariz., have prompted many on Capitol Hill to tone down the negative tone of their debate.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

They say having Republicans and Democrats intermingle during the State of the Union Address is symbolic.

But Kirk believes it goes beyond that.

“I look at congressional history a lot, and I think the language that was used in the Congresses of the 18th century was far rougher than what you see on TV today,” Kirk said. “So, yeah, people get hot-headed, but as leaders – especially as senior leaders – we should always aspire to what Abraham Lincoln called the better angels of our nature.”

Kirk will be seated with Illinois’ Democratic senior Senator, Dick Durbin, for the address.

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