Leadership and the Future of Congress

Oct 13, 2015

“We need positive disruption on Capitol Hill. We need to rethink the way that Congress does business.”

Washington, D.C. – Today House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) sat down with Fortune Magazine’s Nina Easton during the annual Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit.

The highest ranking Republican woman in Congress, McMorris Rodgers spoke of her role in leadership, the need for honest conversation within the party, and how she envisions Congress adapting to the changing environments both inside and outside its halls.

Some highlights:

“You have to be the right person at the right time… I really believe the best place for me to be right now is to play a role in building trust internally, and it starts with communication.”

“I believe it is very important, first and foremost, that we figure out how to build the trust internally. …I am hopeful that through [the leadership elections] were are actually going to have those conversations on how we work more effectively internally, not just among Republicans, but with our Senate colleagues, with the Democrats, so that ultimately we can restore trust with every person in this country.”

“A lot is still top-down. Most decisions are made by leadership or committee chairmen. But there is this desire by the Members to have more of a bottom-up approach and to really look at the processes and structure of Congress to change it in a way that empowers…2/3 of the House Republicans were elected within the past five years. They’ve come here to do big things. They would like to be contributors and to be involved in our vision and how to communicate to everybody in this country”
“We need to be thinking about what is the Congress of tomorrow. How do we function in 2015? …The way Congress is currently structured, the rules that we have in place—that all needs to be looked at. That’s what I’m currently leading.”

To view the interview in its entirety, click here.

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