- Republicans held their annual conference retreat in West Virginia this week.
- According to Politico, the event was filled with intraparty disagreements.
- House and Senate Republicans disagreed on major issues, from infrastructure to immigration.
The Republican conference meeting was designed to help chart the course forward for the GOP after the party scored a major legislative victory in 2017 with their massive tax code overhaul. Instead, the retreat sounds like it was full of intraparty battles.
Politico’s Burgess Everett and Rachel Bade broke down Republicans’ failure to come together during a three-day retreat in West Virginia, with conservative and moderate factions of the party contradicting each other throughout the getaway.
Rep. Charlie Dent, one of the more moderate House members who will retire after 2018, likened the conference to a disgruntled family gathering. He said the GOP was like “a dysfunctional family.”
“Dad’s drunk again but we don’t talk about it,” he said.
The party remains divided on a slew of issues. And it appears they are finding little middle ground, especially between House and Senate members.
On immigration, many House members are still pushing for a hardline conservative bill introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte that would be dead on arrival in the Senate. Senate members, on the other hand, produced nothing that would pass muster with conservative members in the House.
According to Politico, members couldn’t even agree which chamber should take the lead on immigration legislation. House members want a broad bill to start in the House, while Senate members want a “skinny” bill to deal just with border security and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Immigration isn’t the only problem. Republicans also remain divided on policies ranging from spending to healthcare to the debt ceiling.
In some cases, the report said, House and Senate members standing side by side at press conferences contradicted each other on key issues ranging from immigration to basic government spending.
Dent was similarly blunt about the array of issues facing the GOP.
“DACA, debt ceiling, budget, agreement, omnibus? There aren’t 218 votes on those. Are we united on issues? No,” Dent said. “We never are. It’s not going to change now.”
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