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 Trump 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.

{mosads}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 Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis host a breakfast with lawmakers Thursday morning; Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao 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 Haley, 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 Conway, a top Trump adviser.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (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.

Tags Donald Trump Elaine Chao James Mattis Kellyanne Conway Mitch McConnell Nikki Haley Paul Ryan Rex Tillerson
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