Washington (CNN) - Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall's idea of having members of both political parties sit next to each other at this year's State of the Union address is gaining traction - some positive and some negative.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Udall's "thoughtful suggestion" is worth "serious consideration."
"I spoke with Democratic Whip (Steny) Hoyer and Sen. (Mitch) McConnell about the proposal and we will discuss it further next week," Reid said in a statement. "After this tragedy, it's important for our country to see that we all stand together as Americans and this could be one way to demonstrate that."
Hoyer issued a strong endorsement, suggesting it would end the political theater of the address.
"I believe that members of both parties can symbolize our common citizenship and common interests by sitting together to hear the president's remarks, rather than divided across the aisle by party," he said in a statement Thursday.
On CNN's "John King, USA," Democratic Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she thinks it's a "great idea" and that she's already been thinking of who she wants to sit next to.
And on Twitter, Arizona Sen. John McCain urged others to sign Udall's petition.
The letter Udall released Wednesday to his colleagues said the current seating, which divides Democrats and Republicans, exists because it's always been done that way.
"Beyond custom, there is no rule or reason that on this night we should emphasize divided government, separated by party, instead of being seen united as a country."
But some responded with more tepid responses to the idea first announced in a letter by Third Way, a think tank dedicated to moderate political ideas.
Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said, "Members of Congress choose where to sit at the State of the Union" and would not respond directly to questions about the proposal.
A senior Senate GOP leadership aide said there are no rules that keep Udall from sitting wherever he wants.
"Except for cabinet members, Joint Chiefs, Supreme Court etc., there is no assigned seating," the aide said. "It's first come basis seating. He and his colleagues are welcome to intersperse."
He added, "We're not telling people they have to sit anywhere."
When asked about his reaction to Udall's proposal, a senior GOP congressional aide said, "Quite frankly, we have nine plus percent unemployment, jobless claims spiked this week and we're at war… Not sure most Americans care who senators sit next to at a speech."
- CNN Congressional Producers Ted Barrett and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report