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Legislators with Lightsabers

by Jonathan Strong

A secretive few Republicans are shaping budget negotiations

Every week on Representative Steve Scalise’s calendar, there’s a meeting with an unusual name: “Jedi Council.” Scalise, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), is the newest member of a group of House Republicans who are helping to craft the GOP’s strategy on budget fights.

About two and a half years ago, Paul Ryan, Jeb Hensarling, Tom Price, and Jim Jordan began meeting once a week when Congress was in session, usually in Hensarling’s Capitol office — he was then the fourth-ranking member of the House leadership — and usually first thing in the morning. When Scalise was elected RSC chairman in November, they asked him to join the Jedi Council.

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