Nothing brings Democratic and Republican senators together like some time alone on a yacht, says Sen. Mark S. Kirk.

Speaking to reporters about his work on firearm background checks and other gun-related legislation, the Illinois Republican told a gaggle of reporters that credit for bipartisan efforts in the Senate are in part thanks to visits to the Black Tie, a vessel that is partially owned by Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va.

“You guys really ought to go out to National Harbor and see the Black Tie, which has been much of the reason for much of the bipartisan cooperation around here,” Kirk said.

Kirk said Sens. Kay Hagan, a North Carolina Democrat and Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, are frequent visitors. Asked about the menu at the gatherings, Kirk didn’t say much, though he indicated some booze might be consumed.

“Sometimes alcoholic beverages might be served and ties might … get loosened,” Kirk said.

Manchin and Kirk are best of friends in the Senate, in both their work and personal lives. Manchin flew to Chicago to visit Kirk in January 2012, not long after the junior Illinois senator suffered a stroke that kept him away from the chamber for a year.

As HOH has previously reported, Kirk has called the West Virginian “My Main Man Manch;” while Manchin’s called his pal an “Energizer Bunny.”

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