U.S. President Donald Trump is meeting with key Republican lawmakers and members of his cabinet at the Camp David presidential retreat to establish the administration’s 2018 legislative priorities and to devise a strategy for mid-term elections in November.
“We’re going to Camp David with a lots of the great Republican senators, and we’re making American great again.” the president said when he left the White House Friday en route to the Maryland retreat.
Vice President Mike Pence and several cabinet secretaries will also attend the gathering.
The president is looking for more legislative success after the recent passing of the tax overhaul bill.
Topics on the list of legislative priorities will include the budget, infrastructure, immigration, welfare reform and the November midterm elections.
Lawmakers, however, must work quickly to approve a funding plan by January 19 to avoid a government shut-down.
The future of hundreds of thousands of young adults who entered the U.S. illegally as children is also before Congress. Will they be allowed to stay in the country or will they be deported to a place many of them have no connection to?
Trump has proposed allowing the so-called Dreamers to stay in the country if he receives funding to building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, a promise that goes back to his presidential campaign. Democrats are likely to give Republicans a furious pushback on the initiative.
Republicans have also been eager to cut benefit programs like welfare and food stamps.
Republican priorities could be stopped in their tracks, however, if Democrats are successful in the mid-term elections.
Trump has been encountering increasing criticism about his presidential style. He begins the new year facing the release of a bombshell book, Fire and Fury, by Michael Wolff, that describes a White House in disarray and a president as child-like and in need of psychiatric help, claims the administration dismisses as laughable.
It remains to be seen how the book and other accounts dismissive of Trump’s leadership will affect elections later this year.
All 435 members of the House and a third of the 100 members of the Senate will be up for re-election November 6.