Senior Republicans have an assignment for their 87 freshmen: Sell the party’s budget plan in your home districts. To that end, party leaders have been running a “boot camp” to teach the budget basics, with “listening sessions” run by senior lawmakers, Politico reports. But in a fiscally-focused year, the new class has had some trouble with the ins and outs of appropriations bills, next year’s budget, and the debt ceiling—and some insiders say they’re not learning as quickly as hoped.
Party leaders are wary of the impact that an unsatisfied public could have on their majority—but they’re also striving to satisfy freshmen leery of making concessions to Democrats. To that end, budget chair Paul Ryan has been running brief slideshows, then spending the rest of hour-long sessions doing Q&A. “It’s important that we spend time with them, and we have spent a lot of time with them, laying out, ‘This is what we’re doing, this is why we’re doing it,” John Boehner has said.