Republicans head to West Virginia to plot 2018 agenda

Republicans head to West Virginia to plot 2018 agenda
© Greg Nash

House and Senate Republicans will travel to West Virginia on Wednesday morning to hammer out the details of the 2018 agenda President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE laid out in Tuesday night's State of the Union address.

Lawmakers will board a train for White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., where they will spend the next three days debating key pillars of the president’s speech: Trump’s call for a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, investments in workforce development and job training and how to better sell the GOP tax overhaul to voters.


While immigration surely will be discussed in the hallways and meeting rooms at the historic Greenbrier resort this week, a retreat agenda obtained by The Hill does not include a single mention of the word “immigration.” Trump during his speech addressed in detail the hot-button issue, which bitterly divides the GOP.

Republicans will also hold sessions addressing the challenging and “unique” environment for the GOP heading into the 2018 midterms, where they are defending both chambers of Congress.

Lawmakers will get plenty of face time with Trump and his top principals this week. Vice President Pence joins Republicans for a two-hour dinner Wednesday night and Trump will join them for a two-hour lunch on Thursday.

Other highlights: Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Supreme Court lets Texas abortion law stand Trump-era ban on travel to North Korea extended Want to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump MORE and Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate nears surprise deal on short-term debt ceiling hike Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon chiefs to Congress: Don't default Pentagon chiefs say debt default could risk national security MORE host a breakfast with lawmakers Thursday morning; Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine ChaoSaluting FOIA on its birthday House passes bill to strengthen authority of federal watchdogs Biden at Sen. John Warner's funeral: He 'gave me confidence' MORE and Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn join a discussion on “Repairing and Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure" later that morning; and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel joins a conversation that afternoon on “The National Mood – What Citizens are Saying About Their Government.”

Nikki HaleyNikki HaleyUS rejoins UN Human Rights Council, reversing Trump exit Smarkets betting site makes Trump favorite in 2024 Nikki Haley gets lifetime post on Clemson Board of Trustees MORE, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will be on hand for dinner Thursday night.

Those lawmakers sticking around until Friday will have an opportunity to create care packages for the troops and have breakfast with Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne ConwayEthics watchdog accuses Psaki of violating Hatch Act Biden administration competency doubts increase Cook Political Report shifts Virginia governor's race to 'toss-up' MORE, a top Trump adviser.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP blocks Senate Democrats' revised elections bill A politicized Supreme Court? That was the point The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Democrats optimistic after Biden meetings MORE (R-Ky.) will kick off the gathering late Wednesday afternoon with a House-Senate session titled “2018: A Big Vision for America.”

It’s unclear if lawmakers will be able to venture off and tour the Cold War nuclear fallout bunker on the sprawling Greenbrier grounds. The retreat, sponsored by the Congressional Institute, will be heavily secured given all of the high-profile guests and speakers.