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Ryan joined Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan in briefing members Thursday morning about the next 90 days. On Friday, the leaders will host an open microphone session during which rank-and-file members will have a chance to question them.
Ryan said part of the challenge is explaining to the freshmen who were just elected the logistics of what they will be dealing with in the first quarter of their first year in Congress.
But the theme of the retreat is broader than just the next 90 days. Republicans hope to come together after ending the 112th Congress with bickering and infighting. A dinner session on Wednesday was titled, “Using Adversity to our Advantage by Working Together,” and another session scheduled for Thursday night is called, “Sailing Above Rough Seas.”
The group is also trying to determine what House Republicans’ role is in the 113th Congress and how they can better reach out to voters. One of the final sessions scheduled for Friday is titled, “Discussion on Successful Communication with Minorities and Women,” and is being moderated by Rachel Campos-Duffy, the wife of Rep. Sean P. Duffy, R-Wis.
Meanwhile, conservative outside groups urged Republicans to demand a plan to balance the budget in 10 years in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. Forty-one conservative leaders signed the letter, which was released as Republicans were meeting with the hope of influencing their debate.