Members of the House Republican transition team emerged from a three-hour meeting Monday night saying that no decisions had been made about changes they want to implement but that a range of options were discussed.
“I think it went really well. We had a fairly long and thorough discussion of how we can reform this Congress to make it more accountable and transparent for the people, more efficient and more affordable,” transition Chairman Greg Walden (Ore.) told reporters gathered in the Capitol near the office of Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), where the meeting was held. “We had a good discussion, good input from our new members and a lot of ideas kicked around.”
Team members will reassemble at 8 a.m. Tuesday to continue their work and will break into three groups, Walden said. The first will focus on House Republican Conference rules, the second on the House schedule and the third on House rules.
Former Rep. Jim Nussle (Iowa), who led the GOP transition in 1994, is scheduled to address the morning meeting to give “his perspective on dos and don’ts and what he might have done differently,” Walden said.
Members leaving the meeting said that they had not received their group assignments and that the gathering had mainly consisted of presentations and conversations about the various changes that might be implemented.
Nearly the entire GOP transition team attended the evening meeting; only four of 22 Members — Reps. Paul Ryan (Wis.), Mike Conaway (Texas), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) and Rep.-elect Cory Gardner (Colo.) — were absent, and they were not expected to attend Tuesday’s discussion either, according to a GOP aide.
Reps.-elect Tim Scott (S.C.), Martha Roby (Ala.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) attended the meeting, as did Reps. Rob Bishop (Utah), John Campbell (Calif.), Jason Chaffetz (Utah), Tom Cole (Okla.), David Dreier (Calif.), Bob Goodlatte (Va.), Doc Hastings (Wash.), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Buck McKeon (Calif.), Candice Miller (Mich.), Mike Rogers (Mich.), Pete Sessions (Texas) and Patrick Tiberi (Ohio), according to GOP staff.
The closed-door meeting explored topics that included a review of elements from the House GOP governing agenda, known as the “Pledge to America”; ways to rein in spending; changes to the House schedule; safety and security in the Capitol complex; and how to “ensure proper oversight by House committees,” transition team spokesman Brendan Buck said in a statement.
Buck said Boehner, the presumptive Speaker, made a brief statement at the beginning of the meeting and thanked the Members for serving on the transition committee. “We have a lot of hard work ahead to fix the House so we can do the people’s business,” Boehner said, according to Buck.