This week, thousands of conservatives will travel to the nation’s capital for the 43rd annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
The four-day conference, hosted by the American Conservative Union, will be centered around the first three words of the U.S. Constitution, with the theme being “We the People: Reclaiming America’s Promise.”
“We have to restore government of the people by the people and for the people because that is ultimately the question that this American experiment is asking, can people govern themselves,” American Conservative Union Executive Director Dan Schneider told The Daily Signal.
According to Schneider, the theme, “We the People,” was chosen prior to the 2016 election.
“We knew that regardless of who won, we had to restore government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” Schneider told The Daily Signal.
“Our founders understood that the fundamental unit of government is the person, whereas [Barack] Obama and [Hillary] Clinton believe the fundamental unit of government is the state,” Schneider continued. “We knew that if she won we were going to be in a real fight for the soul of our country and if [Donald] Trump won we would still have to help him and his administration understand what conservatism is.”
Matt Schlapp, the American Conservative Union chairman, announced on Monday that Trump is confirmed to speak at CPAC on Friday at 10 a.m. EST, along with several notable White House officials.
Several Trump administration members will be speaking at the conference.
Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway will kick off the festivities as the event’s first speaker on Thursday. White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus will also speak at the event Thursday afternoon. Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to speak Thursday evening.
Other noteworthy speakers confirmed for the event include U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, Gov. Scott Walker, Fox News host Sean Hannity, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs, Sheriff David Clarke Jr., and former Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Carly Fiorina, among others.
Excluded from the list of speakers is Milo Yiannopoulos. Schlapp issued a statement on Monday stating that CPAC rescinded its invitation to Yiannopoulos “due to the revelation of an offensive video in the past 24 hours condoning pedophilia.”
— CPAC 2017 (@CPAC) February 13, 2017
With added emphasis surrounding the newly elected Republican-led White House and both chambers of congress, attendees can expect a different atmosphere this year, Schlapp told reporters at an annual CPAC preview event at The Heritage Foundation on Wednesday.
“We believe that this year’s CPAC will be remarkably different from last year’s CPAC,” he said.
In an effort to unite conservative activists, CPAC will kick off by hosting an “Activism Boot Camp,” followed by three days of events focused on promoting the conservative message.
Among the topics being covered at this year’s CPAC include the possible repeal and replacement of Obamacare in a segment called “Recovering from the Obama Flu: What is the Prescription for Healthcare.” Additionally, the conference will cover issues such as adoption, education, immigration, free and fair trade, tax reform, criminal justice reform, and the pro-life movement.
This year’s CPAC will be held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at Maryland’s National Harbor. The conference runs from Feb. 22 through Feb. 25.