On Thursday, 1968 Wharton graduate Donald Trump will attend the Republican Congressional Retreat, along with Vice President Mike Pence and British Prime Minister Theresa May, .
The retreat, where Trump will begin addressing the year’s policy agenda with House and Senate Republicans, will occur at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel at 12th and Market streets.
According to Politico, the event will focus on tax reform, repealing Obamacare and immigration reform — areas about which Trump has made ambiguous policy prescriptions and sometimes even contradictory statements.
“We don’t know what their plan is,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said about potentially replacing the Affordable Care Act. “It’s hard for us to deal with a major issue without a presidential proposal.”
Although many road closures and SEPTA service changes will ensue, protesters — many emboldened by the last Saturday — are planning to resist the GOP conference.
One Pennsylvania, a community organization based in Pittsburgh, is hosting a protest in Thomas Paine Plaza. Over 3,000 participants are committed to attending and almost 10,000 more are interested, according to a Facebook event.
Additionally, a “Queer Rager” dance party — a protest against the anti-LGBTQ agenda found in the GOP platform and by former Governor Mike Pence in Indiana — has already started outside the conference venue.
Since this is Trump’s first departure from Washington, D.C. following his inauguration last Friday, security surrounding the event will be tight.
James Henry, the leading Secret Service agent of the Philadelphia Field Office, said he is “very comfortable with the plan” jointly organized by the Secret Service and Philadelphia Police Department, reported.
Trump’s relationship with the city of Philadelphia has been rocky, especially since his Wednesday signing of an order threatening to strip federal funding from sanctuary cities, of which Philadelphia is one.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, therefore, will not be meeting with the Wharton alumnus during his short time in the city, .
“This is not a dictatorship,” Kenney said, according to 6abc. “This is a democracy. We will take avail of every opportunity we have to protect our citizens and protect our people who are living in our city.”