Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

DCCC Says McMorris Rodgers ‘Owes the Nation an Apology for Lying’

(Jim Watson/Getty Images)

(Jim Watson/Getty Images)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is calling on House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers to apologize for “lying” in her response to the president’s State of the Union address on Thursday night.

But the Washington Republican thinks she has nothing to apologize for.

The DCCC, in a statement on Friday afternoon, took issue with a specific anecdote McMorris Rodgers used in her rebuttal about a certain constituent, “Bette from Spokane.”

McMorris Rodgers described Bette as someone “who hoped the president’s health care law would save her money — but found out instead that her premiums were going up nearly $700 a month.”

Actually, Bette Grenier, 58, was never forced to pay a higher premium, according to an interview with the Spokane Spokesman-Review. In fact, she knew there were other, less-expensive health care options being offered through the exchanges on, but she wasn’t interested pursuing them.

“Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers owes the nation an apology for lying in her Republican response to the State of the Union this week and spreading more misinformation to Americans about their health care options,” Emily Bittner, a DCCC spokeswoman, said Friday. “Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers and House Republicans are so desperate to please their insurance company contributors and send Americans back to the days when insurance companies had free rein that they are now resorting to embellishing stories and leaving out the facts to mislead Americans about the new affordable, comprehensive coverage available to them.”

The Spokesman-Review reported that Grenier didn’t mind that her story had been used to bolster the GOP attack against the president’s health care law, but noted she hadn’t been contacted beforehand to learn that she would be getting a shout-out. Grenier had simply reached out to McMorris Rodgers, her congresswoman, to share her plight.

As for McMorris Rodgers’ retelling of that story, a Republican Conference aide suggested that if Grenier left out key details, that wasn’t the chairwoman’s fault.

“Bette proactively reached out to the office and the Congresswoman’s description of her premium increase was consistent with the information she gave us,” the aide told CQ Roll Call in an email. “She liked her plan, was told she could no longer keep it, and the alternative was significantly more expensive. We shared the story that Bette shared with the us.”

McMorris Rodgers took to social media to defend her constituent.

“It’s sad partisan politicians are attacking Bette, whose premiums would’ve skyrocketed,” she tweeted. “Bette and millions more are being hurt by this law.”

  • deydey

    did BHO apologize for his lie of the year, DCCC?…

    • Beeker

      Although he is a former President, GWB should be given that distinction for the Iraq lies as well. His policies have screwed millions of Americans while costing us a bundle in the process. Considered that he is no different than Obama.

    • Sam

      Studies show that the cancellations affected a tiny percentage of the population, 99.8% of whom will be able to find affordable alternative plans now that the exchange websites are working as intended.

      But don’t let facts get in the way of good propaganda.

    • Eric Grenier

      You are aware that any plan cancelled by insurance companies had to be written after the ACA was passed and the insurance companies knew these plans were non-compliant when they sold them. So, how is it that “millions and millions” didn’t know they were going to lose their existing plans at the end of 2013? Because their insurance company or broker didn’t tell them. So, let’s demand BHO apologize for this.

  • peanut

    She didn’t tell the truth and made a big deal out of a lie. Why shouldn’t she apologize?

    • mabramso

      That Grenier had an option to purchase a DIFFERENT insurance product does not change the truth of her claim that she was required to pay $700/month more to keep her insurance — the one the President promised her she could keep.

  • Beeker

    And, Grenier acknowledged the couple probably could have shaved another $100 a month off the replacement policy costs by purchasing them from the state’s online portal, the Health Plan Finder website, but they chose to avoid the government health exchanges.

    McMorris Rodgers’ office provided no explanation Wednesday on what steps were taken to verify the figures

    That’s typical of politicians when they are desperate to appeal to the voters.

    • mabramso

      What are you saying? That Grenier could have had her premiums hiked only $600/month instead of $700/month if she had gone through the exchanges? If so, that’s not much of a difference …

  • hillery70

    Looks like the Democrats are continuing their “War on Women.”

    • honestyingov

      I guess you were not able to COMPREHEND the facts in the Story where McMorris-Rodgers LIED to all of America on Nat’l Tv… speaking FOR the GOP..

      And before she came on Nat’l Tv and LIED… she never took the time to actually CONTACT Mrs Grenier so that the woman could get the insurance she badly needs. Sort of like Lying to Bette as well.
      You might say… she just simply gave Bette ” the Finger “

      • hillery70

        Did you read the fact-checks on Obama’s SOTU?

        She should apologize right after the President.

        • eilismaura

          would there be time? he owes us a LOT of apologies

      • eilismaura

        like Obama et al LIED with the story of Romney KILLING a man’s wife via changes in healthcare?

  • ggm281

    And she likely was offered her old plan back. My sister lives in WA. Her plan was $1300 a month more, so she signed up for an exchange plan that was $300 a month more with a 100% increase in both deductible AND co-pay. She was a little cranky about it because they had never hit their deductible before in the 10 years they had the old plan. But it is what it is, and you move on. Just last month, her original insurer sent a letter offering her the old plan at the same price but she could only keep it for 6 months. BTW those state exchanges that were touted as working flawlessly? She couldn’t get it to work and directly called the insurer because she isn’t subsidy qualified anyway.
    Winners and losers, but can we quit pretending that there has been anything about this either efficient OR affordable? It would be nice if some of its cheerleaders on the left would just stand up with some honesty and say “shared sacrifice was necessary to expand coverage.”. It is dismissive of people to pretend that they don’t have a right to be upset about significantly higher costs for a product that gives them less just because of knee jerk defensiveness.

  • Linda McHenry
  • David Longstreet

    McMorris Rodgers and the Republicans are pathetic. This is just another in a long line of lies about the ACA. If CMR was a real congressperson interested in her constituents problems, she would have had a staffer research the issue and found an alternative to the constituents problem. Instead she chose the cheap partisan ploy and tried to frame the ACA as “bad” through unverified anecdotal “evidence”.

    This kind of nonsense is why Republicans can’t be trusted.

  • mabramso

    I don’t really see the problem here. Grenier had her premiums hiked by $700/month. Yes, she had other options for purchasing a DIFFERENT insurance product, but that doesn’t change the truth of the first statement, which is the whole point. The President promised that if you liked your insurance you could keep it. In this case, it is true, but you have to pay $700/month more to do so. I am happy to let the voters decide which statements are misleading.

  • Concerned50

    The biggest Obamacare lie Republicans are clinging to is that 5 million people have lost their insurance. The actual number of people who lost their insurance is 10,000, while 9+ million have signed up and already reducing America’s uninsured rate. The bigger lie is the omission of the new information that the 25 Republican governors that are refusing Medicaid Expansion in their states, denying affordable heath care for over 5 Million are killing 19,000 people, for whatever reason, this is unacceptable . Politicians have the legal right to intentionally lie to the public under a Florida Second District Court decision made 2/14/2003.
    The question is does anyone – elected or not- have the right to lie
    about issues that knowingly harm or kill Americans? Is it time to hold all politicians that knowingly ignore facts, omit facts and lies over and over again to the American public endangering Americans lives?
    Where is Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ ObamaCare victim ‘Bette in Spokane’? UPDATE X2! Bette Found!

  • david simpson

    if anyone an pick out lies, it’s the dems.

  • Thomas Aquinas

    Equality before the law is in eternal conflict with the notions of subjective wealth redistribution and centralized control of collectivism.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...