RECAP: Rep. McMorris Rodgers Spends Week in Eastern Washington
Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers spent the past week...
Cathy McMorris Rodgers is Eastern Washington’s chief advocate in Congress and a rising star in American politics. Since first being elected to the House in 2004, she has earned the trust of her constituents and praise on Capitol Hill for her hard work, conservative principles, bipartisan outreach, and leadership. As someone who grew up on an orchard, worked at her family’s small business, and later became a wife and mom of three, McMorris Rodgers has lived the American Dream, and she works every day to rebuild that Dream for our children and grandchildren.
As Chair of the House Republican Conference, she is the fourth highest-ranking Republican in the House and the highest-ranking woman in Congress. She is also the longest-serving woman in Republican leadership, and in November of 2016 she was appointed to serve as a vice chair of President-elect Trump’s Transition Team.
Since being elected to Congress in 2004, McMorris Rodgers has focused on introducing legislation based on the priorities she hears in conversations with the people of Eastern Washington. Her mission is to restore the people’s voice in Congress, and to make government more efficient, effective, and accountable to hardworking Americans.
Veterans and Military Families
A longtime advocate for members of the military and their families, McMorris Rodgers co-founded the bipartisan Military Family Caucus to provide military spouses and children a voice in Congress. She is also the co-chair of the Mobility Air Forces Caucus that advocates for the critical roles that air refueling, airlift and aero medical evacuation play in our national security. Eastern Washington is home to more than 68,000 veterans and Fairchild Air Force Base, which is why McMorris Rodgers continues to be a vocal advocate in Congress for our veterans and military service members.
In August 2016, McMorris Rodgers co-hosted the annual Military Family Summit at Fairchild Air Force Base with Caucus Co-Founder Representative Sanford Bishop (D-GA) to discuss the most pressing issues facing military families today — pay and benefits, community integration and transition, and the health and well-being of their families and children.
As a strong advocate for veterans, McMorris Rodgers leads the charge in Congress to ensure our veterans have access to the best healthcare available. McMorris Rodgers believes the VA has lost sight of its mission to put veterans first. She has consistently voted to increase the budget of the VA, but she believes the VA has cultural and structural problems, not a funding problem, which is why she continually champions solutions to hold the VA accountable and improve how it works. Her most recent legislation, the Faster Care for Veterans Act (H.R. 4352), requires the VA to adopt technology that allows veterans to schedule appointments online. It was signed into law by President Obama in December 2016.
In June 2016, McMorris Rodgers developed draft legislation, the Caring for Our Heroes in the 21st Century Act, that puts veterans in charge of their healthcare by allowing them to seek care at providers of their choosing.
As a native of one of the most agriculture-intensive districts in the country, McMorris Rodgers has long been an advocate for Eastern Washington’s farmers. She played a strong role in the 2014 Farm Bill, which advanced critical research priorities for Eastern Washington farmers and researchers at Washington State University. Additionally, McMorris Rodgers has worked successfully to protect crop insurance from deep cuts, and has supported robust funding for agriculture research and the market access program. McMorris Rodgers has also been a driving force in Congress to help provide wheat growers relief from low falling numbers, including developing a long-term plan to more accurately measure wheat quality.
She is co-chair of the Northwest Energy Caucus and the founder of the Hydropower Caucus, and is a long-time champion of dams and hydropower as a source of renewable, clean, reliable, affordable energy. She was a conferee on the energy bill, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2016 (S. 2012), the most comprehensive energy bill to be considered in nearly a decade. Her provisions in the energy bill focus on streamlining the hydropower relicensing process and pushing through reforms to produce healthier forest management.
Because Eastern Washington is home to two national forests and often endures wildfires, McMorris Rodgers is a strong proponent of better forest management and strengthening wildfire emergency responses. She introduced the FORESTS Act early in 2015, proposing critical, common sense reforms to better manage our forests, incentivize local collaboration and decision-making, reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, and provide economic opportunities for rural communities. Much of it was included in an effort she co-sponsored and helped pass through the House, known as the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 (H.R. 2647). She was also an early co-sponsor of the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act (H.R. 167, also known as the WDFA), which reclassifies the worst forest fires as disasters and allows funds for fighting those fires to be paid for outside of the forest service’s budget.
In 2010 she was appointed to the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee – where almost half of all legislation pertaining to the economy must pass. She currently serves on the Health Subcommittee, where she plays an active role in advancing affordable, patient-centered health care reforms. As co-chair of the Rural Health Caucus, she advocates for better access to affordable and quality health care services in our rural communities, and recently supported the HEALTTH Act to increase Native Americans’ access to healthcare
As a co-sponsor, vocal advocate and part author of the 21st Century Cures Act, McMorris Rodgers played a key role in getting the bill passed in the House. The legislation funds the discovery, development, and delivery of life-saving cures, and includes provisions that specifically benefit the people of Eastern Washington, such as funding for better rural health programs and support for Washington State University’s research on bacteria resistance to antibiotics. The bill was signed into law by President Obama in December 2016.
McMorris Rodgers is a vocal and devoted champion for the disability community. In 2014, she played an instrumental role in securing final passage of the ABLE Act, which was later described as the most comprehensive piece of disability legislation since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This landmark legislation created tax-free savings accounts to empower individuals with disabilities to save and invest in their futures. To build on this success, she joined several of her colleagues in introducing a package of bills to improve the ABLE Act, dubbed ABLE 2.0. This includes the ABLE to Work Act, which expands the amount of money individuals with disabilities can contribute to their ABLE savings accounts to include income from their job. McMorris Rodgers believes emphasis should be on one’s ability — not disability — and that a job is more than just a way to earn money; it gives a person dignity and purpose in their life. She is dedicated to helping those with disabilities live their lives to the fullest.
McMorris Rodgers believes that restoring the people’s voice in Congress starts with ensuring taxpayer dollars are used efficiently and effectively. In March 2016, she introduced the Unauthorized Spending Accountability Act (USA Act), which requires greater scrutiny of federal spending by identifying government agencies and programs that are not authorized to receive funding and puts them on a path to sunset in three years unless Congress renews them. As McMorris Rodgers wrote in The Washington Post, “Every day, we hear Americans’ frustration about Washington’s seemingly unstoppable growth. For their sake, it’s time to force Congress to justify every taxpayer dollar it spends.”
McMorris Rodgers is the co-chair of eight Congressional caucuses: Military Family, Down Syndrome, Lumber, Neuroscience, Hydropower, Northwest Energy, Rural Health Caucus, and the Mobility Air Forces Caucus.
In January 2014, McMorris Rodgers delivered the Republican address following the State of the Union, in which she articulated a hopeful, bold Republican vision that will make life better for the American people.
In 2006, McMorris Rodgers married Brian Rodgers, a Spokane native and retired 26-year Navy Commander. In 2007, she gave birth to Cole Rodgers. Cole was born with Trisomy 21 and inspired McMorris Rodgers to become a leader in the disabilities community. She has since welcomed two daughters into the world – Grace Blossom (December 2010) and Brynn Catherine (November 2013). She is the only Member of Congress in history to give birth three times while in office.
Cathy is the Republican Conference Chair
She serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee
She is leading efforts to bring KC-46A tankers to Fairchild Air Force Base
Cathy delivers the Republican address following the State of the Union
“A to Z” Mill Creek Pilot Project announced — a public private partnership to manage 50,000 acres in the Colville National Forest to help improve forest health and create jobs
Cathy authors 2 bills that become law:
Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act
National Pediatric Research Network Act of 2013
Cathy is appointed to the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee
Cathy is elected Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference
Cathy marries Brian Rodgers
(They have 3 children together. She is the only Member of Congress in history to give birth three times while in office.)
Cathy keeps Fairchild Air Force Base off the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) list.
Cathy is elected to the House of Representatives
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