(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
BALTIMORE — Speaker Paul D. Ryan announced here Friday his five-point plan for a policy agenda to help Republicans sweep the 2016 elections: addressing national security, restoring economic growth, rethinking healthcare, overhauling poverty programs and restoring the constitution.
“These are the ideas that we will be advancing,” the Wisconsin Republican said. “We will work with our colleagues through our committee-led task forces. That means every member and their constituents will have the chance to provide their input. I suspect that we will have a complete agenda by the time we have a nominee.”
Ryan said lawmakers, working across committees, would flesh out these broad ideas and bring proposals back to the GOP leadership. He declined to specify what form the agenda would take and whether the House will eventually vote on the ideas that members develop.
“We haven’t finalized the process; we just launched the process,” he said, standing with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
“The point is the four of us aren’t going to predetermine everything,” Ryan added. “That’s not the style we have here. So we’re going to do this together with our members. But believe you me, the people of this country will know who we are and what we stand for when this is done, and they will be given a choice in 2016.”
McCarthy, speaking with reporters after the news conference, declined to say whether the agenda would take the form of a policy blueprint rather than actual legislation. “We don’t want to prejudge” the outcome, he said. “We will roll everything out. Do we roll it out all together? Do we roll it out individually? The conference will decide together.”
Much of the work will be done by what Ryan called “committee-led tasks forces,” McCarthy said. “He does not want to to go around committees, but when you take those five different buckets, right, there’s different committees working within that. … You’re going to have these different groups of committee chairs working in these tasks forces, so it goes through committee.”
McMorris Rodgers said the committee chairmen will lead the effort to flesh out the agenda and that process will start immediately.
“Some if it will be within the committee,” she said. “But then there will be opportunities made available for all members to have an opportunity to be a part of submitting ideas, having a conversation about what exactly is the strategy in that policy areas.”
Asked about whether the agenda would appeal to all of the GOP nominees, Ryan said, “This is about ideas, not personalities.”
The goal is to put together an agenda that fixes problems and will make Congress work again. “We’re not sitting here thinking about how the nominee is going to be,” he said. “We don’t have time to think about that.”
Bridget Bowman contributed to this report.
Contact McPherson at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @lindsemcpherson
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