Underscoring themes of family, personal empowerment, and decision-making over “a government that decides for you,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers offered an alternate Republican version of the “no dream is too big” promise in the official rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union address.
The highest-ranking House Republican woman — and the mother of three young children, all born during her time in Congress — McMorris Rodgers, 44, was tapped to deliver on national TV a fresh contrast to the president’s message. The selection of the Washington state lawmaker also provided pushback to portrayals of a political party at war with women.
And McMorris Rodgers’s performance went beyond simply laying out general elements of a GOP agenda that, she stressed, would better tackle the nation’s jobless rates “without more spending, government bailouts, and red tape,” and would improve education, reduce energy costs, and cut taxes.
She touched on some highly personal areas as well. As recently as November, she and her husband, Brian Rodgers, delivered their third child. But it was their first child — Cole, born in 2007 with Down syndrome — that she referenced in a criticism of the Affordable Care Act.
“Cole and his sisters, Grace and Brynn, have only made me more determined to see the potential in every human life — that whether we are born with an extra 21st chromosome or without a dollar to our name — we are not defined by our limits, but by our potential,” she said.
“Republicans believe health care choices should be yours, not the government’s,” she said. “And that whether you’re a boy with Down syndrome or a woman with breast cancer, you can find coverage and a doctor who will treat you.”
And her efforts to deliver a gentler view of Republicans and their agenda went beyond that. For instance, the Republican Conference chair (the fourth-highest elected post in the House GOP caucus) also talked about what she said were “more important moments” than those occurring in the Oval Office or the House chamber.
“They’re in your homes,” she said. “Kissing your kids good night. Figuring out how to pay the bills. Getting ready for tomorrow’s doctor’s visit. Waiting to hear from those you love serving in Afghanistan, or searching for that big job interview….
“Tonight the president made more promises that sound good, but won’t solve the problems actually facing Americans. We want you to have a better life. The president wants that too,” McMorris Rodgers said. “But we part ways when it comes to how to make that happen.”
Against this backdrop, she said, the GOP’s vision is one that empowers and trusts people to make their own decisions, “not a government that decides for you,” and that it is Republicans who are working to close the “gap we all face: between where you are and where you want to be.”
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When it comes to name-calling among America's upper echelon of politicians, there may be perhaps no greater spat than the one currently going on between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump. While receiving an award Tuesday night, she continued a months-long feud with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Calling him a "small, insecure moneygrubber" who probably doesn't know three things about Dodd-Frank, she said he "will NEVER be president of the United States," according to her prepared remarks."We don't know what Trump pays in taxes because he is the first presidential nominee in 40 years to refuse to disclose his tax returns. Maybe he’s just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out that he’s worth a lot less money than he claims." It follows a long-line of Warren attacks over Twitter, Facebook and in interviews that Trump is a sexist, racist, narcissistic loser. In reply, Trump has called Warren either "goofy" or "the Indian"—referring to her controversial assertion of her Native American heritage.
The House on Tuesday voted 403-12 "to pass an overhaul to the nation’s chemical safety standards for the first time in four decades. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act aims to answer years of complaints that the Environmental Protection Agency lacks the necessary authority to oversee and control the thousands of chemicals being produced and sold in the United States. It also significantly clamps down on states’ authorities, in an effort to stop a nationwide patchwork of chemical laws that industry says is difficult to deal with."
"Leaders of the Republican Party have begun internal deliberations over making fundamental changes to the way its presidential nominees are chosen, a recognition that the chaotic process that played out this year is seriously flawed and helped exacerbate tensions within the party." Among the possible changes: forbidding independent voters to cast ballots in Republican primaries, and "doubling the number of early states to eight."
Citing the unpredictable nature of this primary season and the possible leverage they could bring at the convention, John Kasich is hanging onto his 161 delegates. "Kasich sent personal letters Monday to Republican officials in the 16 states and the District of Columbia where he won delegates, requesting that they stay bound to him in accordance with party rules."
Bernie Sanders "signed a letter Tuesday morning requesting a full and complete check and recanvass of the election results in Kentucky ... where he trails Hillary Clinton by less than one-half of 1 percent of the vote. The Sanders campaign said it has asked the Kentucky secretary of state to have election officials review electronic voting machines and absentee ballots from last week's primary in each of the state's 120 counties.