Republican lawmakers move forward at annual retreat following tragic start

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Republican lawmakers are settling into the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia after a train carrying members crashed Tuesday. The train taking them to their annual GOP retreat left one dead and a some injured. The retreat is an opportunity to lay out priorities for Congressional Republicans.

“Today is a sad day, from last night’s high to the low of this morning,” said Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS) the morning after President Trump’s first State of the Union.

Starting off on a melancholy note, the Republican conference will use these few days to unite under a common agenda. Discussions of tax reform and the economy, global perspectives, workforce development and infrastructure. VIP speakers are addressing members all week. Vice President Mike Pence kicked off the summit at dinner Wednesday.

“Karen and I have many fond memories of House and Senate retreats,” said Vice President Pence.

President Donald Trump is also expected to speak. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says this retreat is an opportunity to get the conference in the same corner with unifying priorities.

“How do you move infrastructure and immigration and small bank and credit union relief? It will require large numbers of Republicans as well as Democratic support,” said McConnell.

The lawmakers have a packed schedule at the Greenbrier Resort Thursday. Several policy discussions throughout the day and more VIP speeches are on the docket.