Donald Trump's Capitol Hill Rally: Uniting Republicans for Election Victory

Donald Trump visited Capitol Hill to meet Republican lawmakers, aiming to consolidate unity before the Nov. 5 election. He emphasized policies like border security and tax cuts. Despite old grievances, key Republican figures support his candidacy. The meeting aimed to strategize on gaining control of Congress and the White House.

Reuters | Updated: 13-06-2024 19:17 IST | Created: 13-06-2024 19:17 IST
Donald Trump's Capitol Hill Rally: Uniting Republicans for Election Victory
Donald Trump

Donald Trump

arrived on Capitol Hill on Thursday to meet with Republican lawmakers to build unity ahead of the Nov. 5 election, which could hand his party control of the White House and both chambers of Congress. Trump's motorcade pulled up to a side entrance of a Republican office building a block from the U.S. Capitol, avoiding a crowd of protesters out front.

The Republican presidential candidate is due to meet with Republicans in the House of Representatives in the morning and have lunch with Senate Republicans to coordinate campaign strategies. Trump and current Democratic President Joe Biden each enjoyed unified governments in their first two years in office, but saw their parties lose control of the House during midterm elections, which impeded their ability to pass legislation.

"The meeting will be forward-focused on how Republicans can work together to advance policies to save America, including protecting Social Security and Medicare, securing the southern border, and cutting taxes for hardworking families," a senior Trump campaign official said. The Republican presidential candidate is also due to speak on Thursday to the Business Roundtable, a Washington, D.C.-based association of more than 200 corporate chief executives.

"Our ability to get a majority in the Senate is intrinsically linked to President Trump winning. So, we're like one team/one vision, and I think that'll be largely what we talk about," Republican Senator Thom Tillis told reporters. Republicans hope to see Trump defeat Biden, extend their current razor-thin 218-213 majority in the House and take control of a Senate that Democrats currently lead 51-49.

OLD GRIEVANCES But the visit has also put a spotlight on longstanding tensions between Trump and members of Congress, including Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who has not spoken to the former president since he acknowledged Biden's election victory in December 2020. Trump's false claims that his defeat was the result of fraud inspired the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Despite their differences, the Kentucky Republican emphasized his support for Trump's candidacy. "I support him. He's earned the nomination by the voters all across the country. And of course, I'll be at the meeting," McConnell told reporters on Wednesday. Others, including moderates such as Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney, will not attend, citing scheduling conflicts.

House Speaker Mike Johnson met with Senate Republicans over lunch on Wednesday to talk about how a united Republican government could use a parliamentary vehicle called budget reconciliation to bypass Democrats in the Senate. "We have big policy changes that we'd like to enact," Johnson told reporters afterward. "So, we want to make the most use of that and be coordinated between the two chambers."

A main focus for House and Senate Republicans will be making permanent tax cuts under Trump's 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that will otherwise expire next year. Lawmakers also expect to discuss their spending plans for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 and how to handle the looming Jan. 1 deadline to raise or suspend the nation's debt ceiling. Brinkmanship around debt-ceiling deadlines has spooked financial markets in the past.

Republican centrists also hope Trump will persuade hardline conservatives to get in line after ousting former Speaker Kevin McCarthy in October, attempting to oust Johnson last month and repeatedly blocking their own party's legislation over the past year. "The president has an opportunity to reaffirm to the members of our conference how important it is to stick together," said U.S. Representative Anthony D'Esposito. "Our success will be depend on us sticking together as Republicans."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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