Ryan, Trump Meet To Talk 2017 Agenda

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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House Speaker Paul Ryan and President-elect Donald Trump discussed their plans for the upcoming year over lunch in Washington, D.C., Thursday, signaling the two are committed to mending their differences in an attempt to unify the party.

While staff were not invited, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and future first lady Melania Trump attended the gathering, which featured a buffet with an assortment of food.

“Speaker Ryan, President-elect Trump, Mrs. Trump, and Vice President-elect Pence met for lunch at the Capitol Hill Club today,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in a statement. The focus of the discussion was the agenda for 2017 and early priorities for a Trump administration. “Speaker Ryan is excited for the potential for unified Republican government and eager to get to work with Mr. Trump.”

Trump and Pence had a turbulent relationship throughout the election, with the billionaire repeatedly attacking the Wisconsin Republican for allegedly not being supportive enough on social media. While Ryan said he wouldn’t campaign with or defend the billionaire’s comments in October, he later said he was willing to attend a rally with him ahead of the election  and maintained his endorsement. The speaker also helped fund the majority of his Wisconsin ground game in addition to encouraging voters to vote Republican at the top of the ticket. Both politicians repeatedly say that unifying the party around common goals is a top priority.

“They talk regularly on the phone, and have done so twice since election night,” a source familiar with their relationship said. “Ryan initiated both calls.”

After leaving the Capitol Hill Club, which marked their fourth meeting, Ryan took the group to see the speaker’s balcony — where the inauguration will take place.

Trump sounded optimistic about their relationship going forward, saying he anticipates to hit the ground running upon taking office.

“We just spent a great bit of time together, and we’re going to do some absolutely spectacular things for the American people. We look forward to starting, because truthfully, we can’t get started fast enough,” Trump said after the meeting. “Whether it’s health care or immigration, so many different things, we’ll be working on them very rapidly, and I think we’re going to putting things up very quickly. We had a very good meeting, a very detailed meeting. We’re going to lower taxes, as you know. We’re going to fix health care, make it more affordable, and better. We’re going to do a real job for the public. That’s what we want to do, and that’s why we’re excited.”

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