Lawmaker Profile

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers

[R, WA-5]
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.

 Her mission is to restore the people's voice in Congress, and to make government more efficient, effective, and accountable to hardworking Americans.

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. 

As a strong advocate for veterans, McMorris Rodgers leads the charge in Congress to ensure our veterans have access to the best healthcare available.  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.  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. 

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).

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, 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).

In 2010 she was appointed to the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. She currently serves on the Health Subcommittee. 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 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. 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).

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.