Influential Republican leaders to meet with Trump over conservative agenda

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Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks and other members of the largest Republican caucus’ leadership will hold a summit with former President Donald Trump in New Jersey next week, the Indiana Republican confirmed to The Post.

“At Republican Study Committee, we’ve been very busy as we develop the consensus conservative agenda for the future of the Republican Party, and that agenda is the Trump agenda,” he said, noting that the trip to Bedminster it will be the first time several of the members have met with Trump since he left office.  

“We’re looking forward to going up to visit with him to discuss what we’ve been up to and what we plan to do for not just the rest of this term in the minority, but when we get the majority back, but talk to him about what we, what we hope to accomplish.” 

Trump last month relocated his political and fundraising operations from Mar-a-Lago in Florida to his Bedminster resort and golf course for the summer.

The meeting comes as speculation grows over whether Trump will run again in 2024. Numerous 2024 hopefuls including former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have met with the group in recent months, with several high-profile potential candidates having reached out to speak to the group in coming weeks. 

Banks, who has been playing an expanding role in helping lead the House GOP’s messaging efforts, said that its policy proposals are largely modeled after the Trump administration’s, and has repeatedly stressed he feels the party needs to lean into Trumpism if it is going to retain and attract voters that have shifted toward the GOP since 2016. 

The group has taken a leading role in attempting to offer contrasting policy proposals to the Biden administration’s agenda as Republicans look to take back the House majority in 2022. 

The RSC recently unveiled its budget proposal, which looks to balance the federal budget in five years while cutting $14.4 trillion over the course of a decade and lowering taxes by $1.9 trillion, with the architects of the plan stating that it would lead to a budget surplus by 2026.

Banks said since taking the reins of the RSC, he has looked to broaden the issues the group focuses on beyond just fiscal conservatism and pro-life issues, incorporating some of the Trump administration’s priorities like China policy and immigration.

The Indiana Republican noted that Trump met with the caucus multiple times during his tenure at the White House and are looking for him to continue to continue to play a large role in shaping the party moving forward. 

“At RSC, what we’ve been focused on is really developing an agenda, the traditional conservative issues that RSC has always been involved with: balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility, we released our budget last week, strong national defense, and pro-life, social conservative issues. But really, President Trump, where he’s led our party, is to be more focused on the China threat and RSC has been very active on that front,” Banks continued. 

“And China trade issues, big tech issues are very important to RSC, we’re very active in that space, confronting the big tech’s free speech and censorship of conservatives. We have our election integrity bill that I introduced, the Save Democracy Act. RSC is doing more on the immigration front than it has ever done before, and we look forward to talking to him about that.” 

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