Mini-Retreat

Posted October 19, 2005 at 6:51pm

Hoping to get a head-start on next year’s agenda, House Republicans will hold a brief “mini-retreat” Nov. 2 at the Library of Congress.

Unlike most retreats, House GOP lawmakers will not have to board a train for Philadelphia or the Greenbrier Resort for an entire weekend. Instead, they will simply cross the street and spend a morning talking long-term strategy.[IMGCAP(1)]

“Instead of waiting until February to talk about where we’re going, this is an opportunity for our Members to talk about what issues and what themes we need to rally around as we head into the second session,” said Sean Spicer, spokesman for the House Republican Conference.

Unlike the more distant retreats, in which reporters are typically quarantined far from the meeting sites, the LOC gathering will allow the press to get closer to the action.

Win One for the Gipper. Wednesday was prize day for House Republicans, 15 of whom were given “Ronald Reagan Awards” by the GOP Conference “for their outstanding efforts to communicate the need to strengthen Social Security.”

Although Social Security reform appears to be going nowhere this year, the winners of the award appeared pleased to be given their small bronze-colored busts of the 40th president.

At Wednesday’s weekly Conference meeting, Conference Vice Chairman Jack Kingston (Ga.) announced that lawmakers would also receive credit in the future for their publicity efforts on behalf of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit.

That announcement apparently prompted some confusion among lawmakers. When Rep. Tom DeLay (Texas), one of the award winners, walked out of the meeting with a Ronald Reagan bust in his hand, he told reporters he had received it for “communicating on the Medicare bill,” rather than Social Security.

— Ben Pershing