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Republicans at Retreat Will Celebrate Successes, Plot Strategy

Coming off a remarkably successful year, Senate Republicans on Wednesday will huddle at the Library of Congress for their annual retreat to begin mapping out a strategy for the coming year.

Although Republicans were keeping the details of their closed-door retreat close to the vest, aides said the meeting is designed to help Republicans build on 2009, which saw the party go from a broken minority in February to a major factor in the collapse of comprehensive health care reform less than a year later.

“Republicans will discuss the successes of the Conference in 2009 and how we build upon them for 2010,— a Republican operative said, adding that, “There will be policy discussions, political updates and messaging, [and] there will be a review of where we were in January ’09 and how we’ve gotten from there to where we are today.—

Republicans said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) will deliver opening remarks highlighting the GOP’s successes last year on health care, Guantanamo Bay and economic issues, as well as the upcoming issues facing his Conference.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour will address Republicans during their morning session, followed by open discussion period with Barbour.

Barbour is a popular figure with Republicans who played a key role in the GOP’s political and legislative successes in the mid-1990s, and leaders are hoping he can help set the GOP’s agenda.Republicans are also expected to discuss how to proceed over the next 10 months on a host of issues, including health care, jobs, financial regulatory reform, energy policy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and terrorism, among others.

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) is also expected to give a brief presentation on the 2010 campaign outlook, while House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) will close out the conference.

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