Tom Cole

As Republicans arrive at retreat, Trump's appeal for unity runs into reality

As Republicans arrive at retreat, Trump's appeal for unity runs into reality

President Donald Trump's State of the Union pledge to "extend an open hand" to both parties in pursuit of an ambitious policy agenda quickly came up against the reality of a largely gridlocked Congress and a Republican Party gripped by fear of a brutal midterm election cycle.

Republican senators and House members headed out of town Wednesday to their annual retreat uncertain over how to contend with another spending deadline, stalled immigration negotiations, the year's electoral challenges - and Trump himself, whose controversies have compounded their troubles.

Plans to address these issues were jarred Wednesday when an Amtrak train carrying lawmakers to the...

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