NEW ORLEANS -- President Trump invited top Republicans from both the House and the Senate to meet and go over the Republican agenda in 2018, including Rep. Steve Scalise.
One of the big issues Scalise says Congress is facing is defense, specifically, the Department of Defense's budget.
“One of the things we are working on is to get a two-year budget deal in place so we can fund our Department of Defense," he explained. " Anyone who has looked at our DOD has noticed that it has been depleted. We are fighting a lot of battles and our troops are doing an amazing job, but our men and woman in uniform right now do not have the tools they need not only to be successful, but more importantly to be safe.”
Another top priority for the House Majority Whip is the economy.
“I really want to see us continue working to get our economy back on track," Scalise said. "The tax cut bill has only been in place for a few weeks and we are already seeing big benefits here in Southeast Louisiana. I have had a lot of local businesses tell me that they are hiring more people, how they are giving more bonus and pay raises to their employees. I want to build on that success.”
He also talked about immigration, infrastructure, and his thoughts on President Trump.
Scalise said having those meetings at such a historic place was a real treat.
“It was my first time at Camp David," Scalise said. "Most of the Republican leaders I talked to had never been there before. And it's just a special and historic place. I mean you hear about all the important meetings that have happened at Camp David, the G-8 Summit, you hear about FDR meeting with Winston Churchill, we saw the spot where the famous pictures were taken. Eisenhower helped started planning the D-Day invasion with Churchill at Camp David. So just the history was unbelievable, and to be a part of that was just an honor. We got a lot done and it was a great place to go and do some important work laying out the agenda for the country, but to be in that historic setting was just incredibly special.”
The Congressmen had time for a little leisure on Friday night.
“I pinched myself many times," he said. "At one point, the president invited us to tour the private residence, and I don't know how many people have gotten to do that, but just to go through his private residence was special. And then he invited us to a movie after our meetings on Friday night. There's a movie theater at Camp David, a little arcade room and bowling alley. He took us there, he was incredibly gracious as a host. We got a lot done. But we got to know each other a lot better, and build a stronger bond that is going to help us be more successful in this 2018 agenda that we want to move for the country.”
As for the rest of the weekend, Scalise will be hanging out with his kids during the day, and then heading to the Superdome Sunday to cheer on the Saints. It's the first game he has been able to go to all season long, and he is incredibly excited. On Monday, he hops back on a plane and goes back to work in Washington D.C.