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Bipartisan House group heads to Camp David retreat

A small group of House Democrats and Republicans will head to Camp David on Friday evening at the invitation of President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE’s acting chief of staff, former Rep. Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyMick Mulvaney 'concerned' by Giuliani role in Trump election case On The Money: Senate releases spending bills, setting up talks for December deal | McConnell pushing for 'highly targeted' COVID deal | CFPB vet who battled Trump will lead Biden plans to overhaul agency Consumer bureau vet who battled Trump will lead Biden plans to overhaul agency MORE (R-S.C.), to discuss any possible areas of bipartisan agreement on legislative matters.

The group consists of four Democrats and four Republicans — all men, but spouses have been invited.

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The Democrats are: Budget Committee Chairman John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthThe GOP's debt boogieman is hurting families and derailing our recovery Pelosi, Democrats unveil bills to rein in alleged White House abuses of power GOP, White House struggle to unite behind COVID-19 relief MORE (Ky.) and a member of his panel, Rep. Brendan Boyle (Pa.); Rep. Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchDemocrats to determine leaders after disappointing election Shakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for 'Will on the Hill...or Won't They?' Vermont Rep. Peter Welch easily wins primary MORE (Vt.), who’s been leading the charge on lowering prescription drug prices; and Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas), who represents a border district and is on the 17-member bicameral conference committee tasked with finding common ground on border security funding before a Feb. 15 deadline.

The GOP lawmakers are: Reps. Steve WomackStephen (Steve) Allen WomackOn The Money: Trump gambles with new stimulus strategy | Trump cannot block grand jury subpoena for his tax returns, court rules | Long-term jobless figures rise, underscoring economic pain Womack to replace Graves on Financial Services subcommittee Ex-CBO director calls for more than trillion in coronavirus stimulus spending MORE (Ark.) and Rob WoodallWilliam (Rob) Robert WoodallMcCarthy guarantees GOP will take back House in 2022 Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day Bustos won't seek to chair DCCC again in wake of 2020 results MORE (Ga.), both senior members of the Budget Committee; and Reps. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesQAnon proponent Marjorie Taylor Greene wins Georgia House race Live updates: Democrats seek to extend House advantage On The Money: Trump gambles with new stimulus strategy | Trump cannot block grand jury subpoena for his tax returns, court rules | Long-term jobless figures rise, underscoring economic pain MORE (Ga.) and Chuck FleischmannCharles (Chuck) Joseph FleischmannDemocrats may bring DHS bill to House floor GOP-Trump fractures on masks open up Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says public health threat of loneliness compounded by COVID-19; Trump says task force will 'evolve' MORE (Tenn.), two appropriators who serve on the conference committee with Cuellar.

Trump is not expected to attend.

No agenda has been provided to attendees, but the retreat could touch on bipartisan issues that Trump touched on during his State of the Union, including infrastructure and prescription drug prices.

And with the threat of another shutdown around the corner, Mulvaney and other attendees will not be able to ignore it.

Conferees say they are making progress and will be working through the weekend in hopes of producing a spending package by Monday, but Trump is still demanding $5.7 billion for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The retreat will kick off with a dinner Friday night and extend into Saturday.

“Camp David is a perfect setting for the chief of staff to rekindle some old friendships, forge new ones and have a free exchange of thoughts and ideas between America's policymakers, regardless of political party,” said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley.

Yarmuth said he received the Camp David invitation on Tuesday and received a personal call from Mulvaney two days later with one important question: Did he have any dietary restrictions?

“No, just bourbon. Bourbon has to be there,” the Kentucky Democrat replied.

Yarmuth, a liberal, said he considers Mulvaney a friend and golfing buddy. They served together in the House, and Yarmuth even wrote a letter of recommendation for Mulvaney to be Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a position he has stepped away from while he serves as acting White House chief of staff.

After Mulvaney got the OMB job, Yarmuth sent the former leader of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus a congratulatory text message: “I guess you owe me big time. Oh, that’s right, you don’t believe in debt.”

Mulvaney texted back: “Actually, I do owe you. I’ve been told your comments made a difference. I’ll be re-paying you with rounds of golf at Doral. Apparently I now know the owner.”

That owner is Trump.