Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

McMorris Rodgers to Deliver GOP Response to SOTU

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington will deliver the annual GOP response to the State of the Union, party leaders announced Thursday.

McMorris Rodgers, the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress, will deliver the response address directly after President Barack Obama speaks on Jan. 28.

“I am honored to speak with Americans in every corner of the country on Tuesday and to share our Republican vision for a better future – one that trusts the American people and doesn’t limit where you finish because of where you started,” McMorris Rodgers said in a statement.

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky announced the address in a statement, along with a biographical video, highlighting the congresswoman’s family — she has a son, Cole, who has Down syndrome — and her humble beginnings, including the fact that she was the first member of her family to graduate from college.

In an election year during which Democrats want to make hay of income inequality and how government policies can help the middle class, McMorris Rodgers will deliver the GOP side of the narrative, focusing on self-determination and small government.

“Cathy McMorris Rodgers is proof that with humility, hard work and dedication, you can overcome any obstacle – a story to which many Americans can relate,” Boehner said in the statement. “Through the lens of her family’s experiences, Cathy will share our vision for a better America built on a thriving middle class, guided by a fierce belief in life and liberty, and grounded in greater trust between citizens and their government.”

“Cathy McMorris Rodgers is an excellent choice to present the Republican Address and share an alternative approach to the President’s plans to grow an already enormous federal bureaucracy,” McConnell said. “Her experience, hard work and commitment to family provide an example that Americans outside the halls of Congress understand. A strong advocate of empowering citizens rather than just the federal government, Cathy is the right choice to deliver this important address.”

McMorris Rodgers first rose to prominence as the conference vice chairwoman during the 112th Congress, and ascended in the party ranks to claim the chairmanship in this Congress, despite a heated challenge from Rep. Tom Price of Georgia. Her allies at the time spoke of the importance of lifting a GOP woman into leadership, particularly as they tried to weather Democratic attacks that the party is out of touch on policy affecting women.

This is not the first time a Republican woman delivered the State of the Union response. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine joined Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee for the response in 2000.

  • Bob Viering

    2014 will be a real test of how short term the electorate’s memory really is. After years of being against immigration, gay marriage, any poverty reducing plan, woman’s choice and for voter restriction now we see Republicans being part of a new Voter law, softening at times on gay marriage, Gov. Jindal suddenly asking for more education funding in Louisiana, new poverty plans and now they trot out their token woman in leadership to show they really are the party for women.

    Sadly, these tactics will probably be somewhat effective. However, if Republicans gain control of the Senate and the White House in 2016 all this big populist talk will go away and in the end it will be back to Republican business as usual.

  • MrSmith

    Since it was going to be “anybody but a conservative”- not a bad choice.

  • Cary6677

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  • Haley Schmitterbach

    If each of us were alike, our decisions, tastes, and actions would all be the same, there would be no reason for expressions such as “living my own life”, and there would be little case for liberty.

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