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 TrumpUPS, FedEx shut down calls to handle mail-in ballots, warn of 'significant' problems: report Controversial GOP Georgia candidate attempts to distance from QAnon Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days MORE’s acting chief of staff, former Rep. Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyFauci says positive White House task force reports don't always match what he hears on the ground Bottom line White House, Senate GOP clash over testing funds 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 YarmuthGOP, White House struggle to unite behind COVID-19 relief House seeks ways to honor John Lewis Karen Bass's star rises after leading police reform push MORE (Ky.) and a member of his panel, Rep. Brendan Boyle (Pa.); Rep. Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchVermont Rep. Peter Welch easily wins primary Vermont has a chance to show how bipartisanship can tackle systemic racism National Retail Federation hosts virtual 'store tours' for lawmakers amid coronavirus 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 WomackEx-CBO director calls for more than trillion in coronavirus stimulus spending Overnight Defense: Lawmakers tear into Pentagon over .8B for border wall | Dems offer bill to reverse Trump on wall funding | Senators urge UN to restore Iran sanctions Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts MORE (Ark.) and Rob WoodallWilliam (Rob) Robert WoodallDemocrats go big on diversity with new House recruits House revives floor amendments Bipartisan lawmakers introduce bill to limit further expansion of 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force MORE (Ga.), both senior members of the Budget Committee; and Reps. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesTrump dodges question about whether he backs GOP candidate's belief in QAnon QAnon-supporting congressional candidate embraced 9/11 conspiracy theory Win by QAnon believer creates new headaches for House GOP 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.