GOP retreat in Philadelphia focusing on Obamacare, tax code

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Philadelphia will be in the spotlight the next few days as House and Senate Republicans are in the City of Brother Love for their annual retreat. (WPVI)

Philadelphia will be in the spotlight the next few days as House and Senate Republicans are in the City of Brother Love for their annual retreat.

In this event, the GOP members of Congress speak behind closed doors about strategy. This year's topics will range from appealing Obamacare, to altering the tax code, to reducing federal regulations.

First to arrive Wednesday in blacked out SUVs were the GOP's VIPs. A short time later came the rest of the attendees by bus.

There was heavy security in view and only a handful of protesters.

RELATED: Road Closures, Pedestrian Restrictions due to President Trump's visit

There were barriers that motorists and pedestrians had to navigate.

"They didn't need to come here. I'm tired of spending money on people who come and spend my money and don't do anything," Eileen Bruce of Roxborough said.

Those attending the retreat will be in closed door strategy sessions at the Lowes Hotel; occasionally some will come across the street to the Marriott.

In their daily briefing message, it was about the GOP being in the city of the Founding Fathers to "reimagine" government.

"I'm not sure our Founding Fathers would really recognize the government we have today. We've seen hundreds of thousands of regulations issued by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats," Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers said.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump will be on hand and police are expecting thousands of protesters.

Among the President's expected topics are replacing Obamacare and Trump's vow to build a wall on the Mexican border.

Congressman Pat Meehan is skeptical that an $8-billion to $10-billion brick and mortar wall will be built. Rather, he sees a metaphorical wall, a stronger border, using beefed up security and technology.

"That's the way I would see it, having worked on that particular issue in a previous stint on the Homeland Security Committee. There are methods to be able to secure the border without necessarily thinking you have to build the Great Wall of China," Meehan said.

But at the White House Wednesday, what was announced sounded very literal.

"The first order in that will be to build a large physical barrier on the southern border," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.

Spicer said the barrier would impact the flow of crime, drugs, and illegal immigration. And, he says, it would eventually be paid for by Mexico.
Along with hearing from the President, those in attendance at the retreat will hear from British Prime Minister Theresa May and former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.

Last year's event was held in Baltimore.

Related Topics:
philly newsPresident Donald TrumpCenter City Philadelphia
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