House Republicans head into their annual retreat in Virginia on Wednesday with the goal of redefining themselves and improving communication within their ranks, as President Barack Obama begins a second term.
“We need to talk about our strategy on dealing with the things that have to happen,” Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock told Politico
. “And then talk about what it is we want to happen and what’s the best way to use the most amount of leverage to get awareness and try to move on it.”
The retreat, to be held at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va., seeks to establish an agenda for House Republicans and improve communication between Speaker John Boehner, other House GOP leaders, and the rank and file, Politico reports.
Financed by the Congressional Institute, the retreat is expected to include workshops, seminars, and strategy sessions.
“We need to purge from our thinking the slash-and-burn, cut-and-slice approach,” Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble told Politico. “That’s not how to communicate.”
One instance of miscommunication cited by Politico is the impending discussions on raising the nation’s $16.4 trillion borrowing limit.
Many House Republicans — including Washington state Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the No. 4 GOP leader — have said they have no problem with shutting down the government or pushing for a default on its payment obligations in order to extract dollar-for-dollar spending cuts from Obama.
Boehner, however, said over the weekend at a closed leadership retreat in Warrenton, Va., that “no one” should be saying default is an option, Politico reports.
“Still more advocate a government shutdown when it comes time for it,” Politico said. “The blank slate, and the GOP’s failure to communicate effectively with voters, is clearly troubling some Republicans.”
“We need to deal with the here and now,” Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford, a member of GOP leadership and Rep. Paul Ryan’s Budget Committee, told Politico. “We need to be better with that. We’re all so anxious about what’s coming and how soon it’s coming, we don’t want it to be on our watch and do nothing.”
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