PHILADELPHIA- GOP lawmakers from both the House and Senate gathered in Philadelphia for a three-day policy retreat Wednesday to tackle key issues.
With a Republican now in the White House, the GOP must craft a game plan to accomplish its ambitious policy agenda.
Senate Republican Conference Chair John Thune said the party is united by its common goals, but the retreat “provides us an additional opportunity to discuss our ideas and move forward on our common agenda.”
Coming together on a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare is expected to be a top priority, as there is still some division among members about the timing and logistics of how the replacement should be implemented. A number of lawmakers have introduced individual plans, but the party is hoping to hash out the details and unify behind a singular proposal the majority of the conference can all support.
Tax reform is also expected to be a hot topic, since discrepancies remain between President Donald Trump’s proposal and the House GOP’s “A Better Way” blueprint. Trump recently criticized border admissibility, a key component in the House plan to keep cuts revenue neutral. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady reiterated his goal to enact comprehensive tax reform in 2017.
“We’re in those conversations now — I think a big part of this retreat, there’s going to be significant time set aside to have those conversations between the House and the Senate and the administration,” House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers told reporters, “but so far our goal is to bring a revenue neutral.” Discussions on defense policy and regulatory reform are also in the docket.
President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and British Prime Minister Theresa May are listed among the speakers slated to address members Thursday.
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