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 John TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation 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 TillersonWatchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US Trump administration rigging the game, and your retirement fund could be the loser Haley’s exit sends shockwaves through Washington MORE and Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: US, South Korea cancel another military exercise | Dozen sailors injured in chopper crash on aircraft carrier | Navy vet charged with sending toxic letters US, South Korea cancel another military exercise Top US Afghan commander drew his sidearm during this week's attack: report MORE host a breakfast with lawmakers Thursday morning; Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoHillicon Valley: Facebook rift over exec's support for Kavanaugh | Dem worried about Russian trolls jumping into Kavanaugh debate | China pushes back on Pence Trump administration moves ahead with plans to rewrite self-driving cars rules Transportation Department will 'no longer assume' commercial drivers are human 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 HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyMary Kissel expected to join State Department Scarborough predicts Trump will ‘cash out’ and not run in 2020 Toobin: Flake and Sasse ‘never actually take a stand’ against Trump 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 Elizabeth ConwayTrump and Kellyanne Conway's husband spar about columnist Hatch mocks Warren over DNA test with his own results showing '1/1032 T-Rex' Conway responds to Warren DNA test: 'Junk science' that 'really doesn't interest me' MORE, a top Trump adviser.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMeghan McCain calls Russian attacks against her father the 'highest compliment' to her family Atheist group argues in court for prayer rights on House floor Small-dollar donations explode in the Trump era MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMeghan McCain calls Russian attacks against her father the 'highest compliment' to her family Schumer: Fight for Senate is 'neck and neck' Nikki Haley powerfully rebuts Trump 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.