From the Washington Post:
The first thing the new, Democratic-led Senate will do next year is meet in a closed "bipartisan caucus" to help set a more pleasant tone than the relentless backbiting of the Congress now heading home, party leaders said Friday.
Far from lawmakers conducting business in secret -- as open-government advocates warn -- the meeting would serve only to sweep away grudges and smooth the way for more action, the leaders said.
"We won't always agree but can sit down, side by side, and forge consensus on the issues important to the American people," incoming Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said in a joint statement with his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
McConnell said, "Republicans intend to be as cooperative as possible to help the Senate get off to a good start next year."
Spokesmen for the lawmakers said the meeting would not amount to a closed session of the Senate under the chamber's rules.
However, any meeting of 100 senators with rules of any kind is by definition a meeting of the Senate, said Brian Darling, director of Senate relations for The Heritage Foundation.
Kellman, Laurie. "New Senate Schedules Closed Meeting Washington Post. 12/8/06