GOP Freshmen Learn Basics at 'Budget Camp'

Their homework: sell the plan in their own districts
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 7, 2011 12:45 PM CST
On Feb. 14, 2011, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, right, deliver the GOP response to President Obama's budget submission for Fiscal Year 2012.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – 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.

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