In 2008 Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was elected to serve as Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference. She was elected to that position in November 2008 and re-elected in November 2010. Today, as Chair of the Conference, she is the high-ranking Republican woman in Congress.
In her role as Vice Chair, Cathy spearheaded several important projects – expanding and improving the Conference’s use of New Media, leading the Conference’s women’s outreach, increasing government transparency, and publicizing and fighting against government waste.
Some of the highlights:
New Media: Taking GOP Communications Digital
In the 111th Congress, Cathy was tapped to be the chief advocate in getting her colleagues to adopt tools like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
In the 112th Congress, Cathy worked to further expand and improve House Republicans' online influence and engagement, and built support for the House Republicans' agenda.
|Skype interview with bloggers.|
The results speak for themselves.
- In January 2009, only 30 percent of House Republicans were on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Today, more than 90 percent of House Republicans are on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
- In 2010 and 2011, Cathy initiated the House Republican "New Media Challenge." This head-to-head competition among Conference Members encourages them to make more innovative use of social media, and to share best practices. During the first year, 58 Members participated and Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana took first place. During the next year, 106 Members participated and Rep. Fleming won again. (Final 2011 Brackets, 2011 profiled in The Daily Caller, 2010 profiled in The Hill, and Mother Jones)
- In July 2011, Cathy launched GOP Labs, a New Media "Think-and-do Tank" to further enhance New Media operations in Member offices. GOP Labs partners with the Republican New Media Caucus on a monthly briefing series for both Members and staff. Presenters in 2011 included: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, The Washington Post, Google, ooVoo, and more. (Read the Roll Call profile, "GOP Media Goes Guerilla" follow @GOPLabs, Tumblr Blog)
- Cathy leads the Conference's blogger outreach efforts, and regularly hosts calls with Members that break news online. Calls have featured Chairman Paul Ryan, Chairman Darrell Issa, Chairman Doc Hastings, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Steve Scalise, Rep. Lee Terry, and many others.
- In 2010, Cathy launched the iGOP Video Challenge to encourage GOP Members to create and share innovative videos (Republican Study Committee won; competition generated 1 million YouTube views).
- Cathy published "Bits & Bytes," a weekly New Media clipping service highlighting New Media-related news, videos, graphics, links, and other content.
- House Republicans have more social media subscribers than House Democrats; with a 2 to 1 advantage in Likes on Facebook, a 3 to 1 advantage in Followers on Twitter, and the majority of the Top 10 most viewed & subscribed YouTube channels.
- In 2010 and 2011, the Conference website – GOP.gov – was honored with the Golden Mouse Award – the highest honor – for “Best Leadership Website” by the Congressional Management Foundation.
- In 2009, Cathy launched sunshine.gop.gov, which enabled citizens to track TARP funds, stimulus spending, and closely follow the Congressional budget process.
Women’s Outreach: Cathy has been a leading voice on women's issues since she came to Congress in 2005. Most recently, however, she has expanded her influence to increase the visibility of Republican women Members of Congress and the important work they're doing. Some highlights include:
- In 2011, Cathy and the other Republican women Members held 4 Special Orders. Topics covered: Jobs/Economy; Cut, Cap, and Balance; Seniors; and the Balanced Budget Amendment. They also produced 2 viral videos. Click here to watch "House Republican Women: 'America Needs Jobs.'"
- In Dec. 2011, Cathy hosted held the inaugural GOP Women’s CEO Event, which highlighted prominent women business leaders and the need for pro-growth economic reform. It was covered in Bloomberg, National Journal, ABC News, The Daily Caller and more.
- In Jul. 2011, Cathy and other Republican women launched the “Heels on the Hill” initiative to engage female staffers on the Hill. The inaugural event had over 200 attendees.
- In 2011, Cathy and other Republican women Members held 4 “Coffee with Congresswomen” events to further cultivate relationships between Members and female staffers.
- In the 112th Congress, Republican women Members have held several press conferences which have been featured regularly in the national news media.
In Nov. 2009, Cathy organized the “Women & Health Care” events to raise awareness about the government takeover of health care. She also hosted a year-end public policy review with panel experts on the negative impact the Administration's policies are having on women, families and small businesses.
“The highest ranking Republican woman in the House, Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, is one of the major players in the fight to win women’s approval and votes. Indeed, the two-time vice chairwoman of the House Republican Conference and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues has been working hard to show that women’s issues are GOP issues.”
– The Daily Caller, “GOP Looks To Capitalize on Women’s Vote,” 6/27/11
Economy & Debt: At a time when 75% of Americans say the number one issue facing the country is either the economy or the national debt, Cathy has emerged as a leader in her own right on both those issues.
- During weekly Leadership press conferences, Cathy is raising awareness about how President Obama’s “spend, borrow and bailout policies” are harming the economy and future generations.
- Cathy is a strong voice for a Balanced Budget Amendment.
- Cathy was the first Member of Congress to alert the public about the use of U.S. tax dollars as part of the $1 trillion European Union bailout (and she is the co-author of 2 bills to restrict U.S. participation).
Pledge to America: Cathy was actively involved in every stage of the Pledge to America project – from the initial Member discussions to the final rollout on Sep. 23, 2010.