The Democratic congressional baseball team will welcome the Republican team for dinner Wednesday at the Democratic club, lawmakers said Wednesday.
"Maybe if leadership is civil to each other the American people can be too," Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., told reporters Wednesday.
Doyle said it should not take incidents like Wednesday's shooting at Republican baseball practice that critically injured House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., to bring members together.
The Pennsylvania lawmaker says he wants to use the dinner as an opportunity to get to know his Republican colleagues better.
"We are going to host the Republicans at the Democratic club," said Doyle, who coaches the Democrats' baseball team. "They've probably never set foot there."
Doyle and Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, the captain of the Republican baseball team, held a joint news conference Wednesday afternoon where they announced Thursday night's charity game would go on as scheduled at Nationals Park.
Barton says he hoped the game, which he said has been played off and on for 100 years, would bring Republicans and Democrats together.
"We are playing the game tomorrow; we are united not as Republicans and Democrats, but as United States representatives," Barton said.
Doyle and Barton said they hoped the spirit of competition and comraderie from the charity game and tonight's dinner would help diffuse political tension on Capitol Hill.
The longtime congressmen, who are close friends, decried how politics has become "impersonal" in recent years.
"The internet and Twitter ... has made it more impersonal," Barton said. "Members are flying to their districts every weekend. It is a different climate today than in 1985 when I first got elected. Members are not looked at as people anymore. People think they can come to town hall meetings and say obnoxious things and it will not be taken personally."
Doyle added: "There are just few opportunities [for members of Congress] to interact outside of having our suits on. When you know somebody's kid, somebody's spouse, you play baseball with them, it's different. When you see that person ... I mean I wouldn't be harsh to Joe Barton no matter what because I feel like he's a family friend."