No One Wants to Go to Mike Johnson's GOP Retreat

Fewer than 100 House Republicans plan to attend in W. Va., with some saying they're tired of drama
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2024 7:14 AM CDT
RSVP List for House GOP Retreat Is a Slim One
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., is seen during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington on Feb. 29.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

This year's retreat for House Republicans is nestled in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, promising a break from the confines of DC and a chance for the GOP to recalibrate ahead of the November election. It doesn't look like the getaway will be a particularly well-attended event, however, as CNN notes tensions are "still running high" after a year filled with drama around the House speakership and plenty of infighting.

  • The numbers: A GOP source says that fewer than 100 Republicans have RSVP'd "yes" to the retreat scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, which represents less than half of the Republican conference.
  • Another blow: Fox Business host Larry Kudlow was set to be the keynote speaker at the retreat, but he ended up having to drop out at the last minute. He'll be replaced by Cantor Fitzgerald chief Howard Lutnick.
  • The reasons: Conflicts and busy schedules, especially for those running for reelection, are being cited for the "no" replies, as are complaints that there wasn't enough notice given on logistics, reports Axios. Dozens of congressional officials are also set to retire this year, which means that "working on future agendas might not be as interesting" for them, Arizona Rep. David Schweikert tells USA Today.
  • Subtext: Behind the scenes, however, some Republicans are reportedly grumbling that the retreat isn't in Florida like usual, while others note they're just worn out from the GOP's "intra-party battles," the paper notes. "Everybody's tired. I know I'm tired," one House Republican says. "I'd rather sit down with Hannibal Lecter and eat my own liver," another tells Axios.
(More House Republicans stories.)

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