President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden will be the main attractions at the House Democrats’ annual issues retreat that begins Thursday.
Obama’s Friday night speech is considered the top event. But other top party officials will also make appearances at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay. Biden is scheduled to speak earlier Friday, and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is set to deliver the welcoming address Thursday.
Members will also hear from some recently defeated incumbents during a panel discussion on the 2012 cycle. The idea floated by Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.) raised some eyebrows from Democrats who thought a panel discussion would lead to a painful rehash of the midterms that cost Democrats the majority. But a House Democratic aide, who noted that the line-up for the panel was still being hashed out, said the idea was “Member-oriented” and intended to help lawmakers prepare for the new cycle. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) will also make a presentation.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), ranking member of the Budget Committee, will deliver remarks on the budget, and Members are expected to break out into smaller sessions focusing on jobs and the economy. Van Hollen’s budget presentation will come just days before the House is set to debate a pair of Republican resolutions aimed at bringing spending down to 2008 levels. Debate on those resolutions is expected to kick off Monday.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.