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Democrat Barbara Boxer, Republican John Mica plan second 'date' -- in Los Angeles

January 26, 2011 |  1:37 pm

Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer's and Republican Rep. John Mica's date for President Obama's State of the Union speech went so well, there will be a second date, in Los Angeles.

Asked how the unusual seating arrangement went, Boxer joked on MSNBC on Tuesday night, "You know, what happens in the House chamber stays in the House chamber.'' 

Boxer of California and Mica of Florida were among lawmakers from opposing parties sitting together for Obama's address in response to calls for greater civility in Congress. They chose each other because they chair the Senate Public Works and House Transportation committees, respectively, which will write the next big transportation bill.

Boxer did not use the seating arrangement to push Los Angeles' bid to secure federal aid to accelerate expansion of its public transit system. The senator, who is backing L.A.'s efforts, said she has already bent Mica's ear on the issue and is encouraged.

The two chairs will be back together at a transportation town hall meeting they plan to hold in Los Angeles next month before their panels begin writing the legislation. 

But there could be limits to their chumminess.

When they disagreed on controversial proposals for strengthening Social Security during their appearance on MSNBC, Boxer told Mica facetiously: "I cancel our date right now.''

-- Richard Simon in Washington

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