Speaker Paul Ryan Ducks Question on Ted Cruz's Eligibility, Teases 2016 Agenda

The House speaker teases GOP 2016 agenda.

ByBenjamin Siegel and Ali Weinberg
January 15, 2016, 3:55 PM

— -- House Speaker Paul Ryan outlined House Republicans' platform for 2016 as the party wrapped up a three-day retreat in Baltimore today, promising a "complete agenda" by the time they select a presidential nominee this summer.

The Wisconsin Republican outlined five broad planks in the GOP plan: national security; the economy; health care; alleviating poverty; and defending the Constitution.

"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,” Ryan said.

Republicans will announce the party's presidential candidate in July, well into a legislative calendar shortened by a seven-week summer recess and another in October.

Beyond a promised alternative to Obamacare, GOP leaders have not detailed the platform, or said whether any of it will come to the House floor.

Ryan, who said he did not watch the GOP presidential primary debate Thursday night in Charleston, South Carolina, ducked questions about Sen. Ted Cruz's eligibility to be president, which Republican front-runner Donald Trump has called into question. (Cruz was born in Canada to a U.S.-born mother, and has renounced his Canadian citizenship.)

"You think I'm going to comment on that stuff? I don't know. We're not worried about that," he said. "I haven't given it a second's worth of thought."

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters Republicans haven't decided what form the agenda will take, and whether it will be unveiled as a single platform or in individual pieces.

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