A descendant of Oregon Trail pioneers, Cathy is the fifth generation of the McMorris family to call the Pacific Northwest home. Early members of the McMorris family settled in Walla Walla in 1853. Growing up, Cathy worked on the family orchard near Kettle Falls alongside her parents and brother.
Cathy was the first in her family to graduate from college—and later earned an Executive MBA from the University of Washington.
She served in the State House for five terms, eventually being elected as Republican Leader. When the legislature was not in session, Cathy worked in her family’s small business, Peachcrest Fruit Basket, near Kettle Falls, Washington.
Cathy was elected to represent Washington’s Fifth District in 2004. At the time, she was only the 200th woman ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
She is married to Spokane-native Brian Rodgers, a retired 26 year active-duty Navy Commander. They have one son and two daughters. Cathy was the first member of Congress in history to give birth three times.
Cathy is Eastern Washington’s chief advocate in Congress — a position she uses to deliver results on agriculture, health care, forest management, hydropower, Fairchild Airforce Base, and veterans.
She has been a strong advocate for affordable and accessible health care. Cathy worked in a bipartisan way on a proposal to lower the cost of prescription drugs. She won expanded support for the Spokane Teaching Health Center and community clinics to bring more doctors to rural and underserved communities.
Since 2017, Cathy has helped secure more than $102 million in grants for critical transportation projects throughout Eastern Washington.
Her leadership has been recognized by numerous national policy organizations including the Washington Farm Bureau, Sandy Hook Promise, National Rural Health Association, Pacific Northwest Waterways Association, American Association of People with Disabilities, and Faith and Politics Institute.
Eastern Washington’s future is bright. Cathy’s mission is to make sure our region wins the future - making it the best place in America to live, innovate, start a business, and raise your family.
Cathy is the Ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, tackling issues like rural broadband, consumer privacy, unleashing American energy, and Big Tech.
Cathy is also working to counter policies like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal that are supported by some who are on a dangerous mission to fundamentally change us with a complete government takeover of our economy.
Expanding access to quality and affordable medical care in Eastern Washington, especially in rural areas, will always be one of my top priorities. Individuals and families in Eastern Washington should not have to live in fear over how they will pay for their prescription medications, especially when they are living with a rare or chronic illness. All across the country, the cost of prescription drugs continues to skyrocket. This is why it is so important to stand on the side of innovation, so we can achieve more medical breakthroughs and help millions of people manage the symptoms they experience every day.
As Lead Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, I am leading the Lower Costs, More Cures Act to drive down drug prices for individuals and families in Eastern Washington without limiting access to cures. This legislation is about building on the progress we’ve made with 21st Century Cures to help bring more generic drugs to market faster, make insulin more affordable for our loved ones, lower out-of-pocket spending for seniors, boost access to new medicines and cures, and bring much-needed transparency to drug pricing. Thanks to American ingenuity and innovation, we are on the verge of some amazing breakthroughs.
I believe we should allow businesses to pool together to purchase insurance, permit insurance to be sold across state lines, and limit junk lawsuits. We should also promote healthier lifestyles, deploy new health technologies, and expand access to care in rural areas. That’s what the American people want and deserve.
I also continue to play an active role in advancing affordable, patient-centered health care reforms. As co-chair of the Rural Health Caucus, I advocate for better access to affordable and quality health care services in our rural communities, and in early 2018, my legislation to extend and expand the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program was signed into law, which will help meet the doctor shortage in rural and underserved areas.
In 2015, my Steve Gleason Act was also signed into law to provide a temporary fix to a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) policy that limited access to speech-generating devices for people with ALS, like Spokane-native Steve Gleason, and other degenerative diseases. In 2018, the Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act was signed into law to make that fix permanent.
Finally, I am committed to ensuring those with disabilities and other pre-existing conditions are guaranteed access to coverage. My Pre-Existing Conditions Protection Act would provide guaranteed access to coverage, prohibit pre-existing conditions benefit exclusion, and ban a premium rating based on health status.
This is one of my top priorities to bring down costs and help individuals keep control over their health care decisions.
As the first person in my family to graduate from college, I understand the importance of education for opportunity and success. Our students in Eastern Washington deserve the best education possible, and I don’t believe we’ll get there with a “one-size-fits-all” approach dictated by the federal government. We need to give states and local school districts the freedom and flexibility they need to innovate and encourage our students to succeed.
As the mother of three young children, I want them to be defined by their potential, not by their limitations. I want them, and children across the United States, to have every opportunity. Children are the future of this nation, and we must ensure that they are provided with an education that places them on a solid foundation on which they can thrive.
Providing our children with the best educational opportunities our country has to offer means we must continue having important conversations around school choice. I believe every parent should have the option to send their children to the school that will work best for their kids, whether that be public school, a charter school, or a private school.
For the future of every student, we need an education system that empowers state governments, local school boards, and parents, and provides all students with an education that enables them to live up to their full potential.
America has long been a land of immigrants—men and women, young and old, who came here seeking freedom and the opportunity for a better life. Today, however, America’s immigration system is broken and in need of real solutions. I support efforts to strengthen border security as the first step in developing a fair and workable immigration system that will protect the American people, enforce our nation’s laws, and strengthen our economy.
For years, I have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to secure our borders, provide certainty for children who have been brought to our country illegally through no fault of their own, and ensure a workable guest worker program for our agriculture community. Still, there is a lot more work that needs to be done to achieve real, bipartisan immigration reform.
To achieve our shared goals, we must develop and debate immigration policy within the legislative branch to ensure we give this issue the compassion and thoughtfulness it deserves.
Gun control is complex, and people on both sides of the issue have deeply held convictions. I support the rights of law-abiding Americans to possess firearms for lawful purposes, including hunting, self-defense, collecting, and recreational shooting. We must engage in serious and sober discussions about how to stop gun violence while protecting our Second Amendment rights.
My goal will always be to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens while keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have access. This starts with looking for solutions that make sure warning signs don’t go unanswered before it’s too late. We should also give law enforcement the tools they need to intervene when there are threats of gun violence without violating the due process rights of law-abiding citizens.
We will never be able to repay the debt we owe to the men and women who selflessly served our country, but I believe we must do more to honor our promise to provide them with access to the best health care and benefits possible. Unfortunately, we have seen instances in recent years where the VA has lost sight of its mission to put veterans first, which is why I continue to champion solutions that hold the VA accountable and improve how it works.
For example, I led the Faster Care for Veterans Act to help streamline the scheduling process for veterans and bring the VA into the 21st century. I was proud to see this bill signed into law. I have also been leading efforts to restore 24-hour urgent care for veterans at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center ever since it closed in 2014. No matter the time of day, you know you have a place to go. This urgent care facility has the potential to save lives, and I am committed to seeing it through to the finish line.
Additionally, I believe we must do more to address the mental health crisis our veterans are facing. Too many of our nation’s heroes struggle with their own self-worth as a result of the invisible scars of war, which is why I am committed to expanding access to mental health services for our veterans. In 2007, I worked with my colleagues to get the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act signed into law to raise awareness of suicide among veterans suffering from PTSD and to direct the Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs to develop and carry out a program to help reduce the high risk of suicide among veterans.
It’s extremely important to me that all veterans, no matter their circumstances, are treated with the care and gratitude they deserve. The Veterans Identification Card Act I worked on is a critical part in making sure veterans receive that respect. The legislation was signed into law in 2015 and gives any veteran a chance of receiving this proof of service no matter their length of time on active duty or eligibility of military related disability.
In 2006, I helped pass the Heroes Earned Retirement Opportunities Act which amended the Internal Revenue Code to allow members of the Armed Forces to include their combat zone compensation in their earned income to allow for tax deductions to be contributed to retirement savings plans.
The bottom line is that I am optimistic we can find solutions for our veterans. I will not waver in my fight to create a 21st Century Department of Veterans Affairs.
Taxes & Regulations
I was proud to lead the way on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law by President Trump in 2017. This historic legislation overhauled our broken tax code for the first time in over 30 years, and it improved the lives of everyday Americans and their families by creating more jobs, flatter taxes, and bigger paychecks.
Additionally, I have co-sponsored dozens of bills to help grow our economy — including legislation to repeal the government takeover of health care, the REINS Act, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, and the “Path to Prosperity” budget. I am also a strong advocate for the Balanced Budget Amendment.
Looking ahead, I will continue to advocate for policies that unleash the power of free minds and free markets; and I will continue to oppose policies that take money out of the hands of hard-working taxpayers to reward the special interests.
Our parents and grandparents are getting older. As the people responsible for making us who we are today, we owe it to them to ensure that they have everything they need to enjoy their retirement.
In Congress, I have worked to protect Social Security, create a simplified tax form, and ensure access to health care. I believe that Social Security must be put on a path toward fiscal sustainability without cutting benefits to those who are currently on it or nearing retirement.
I also believe access to quality, long-term care is a critical part of stabilizing overall health care for our aging populations. I am committed to working on policies that empower our seniors on Medicare, and I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure seniors have access to comprehensive, coordinated coverage at significantly lower out-of-pocket cost.
I grew up in a farming family with deep roots in Eastern Washington. Alongside my parents and younger brother, I worked on our family’s orchard and later helped manage the family business.
I have a deep understanding of the important role agriculture plays as Eastern Washington’s number one industry, which is why I will always fight for our farmers and ranchers. I am working hard to protect crop insurance from cuts, open new trade markets and support robust funding for agriculture research like the transformative work being led byWashington State University.
It is also critical that Congress comes together to protect and enhance existing water supplies and storage; ensure the viability of our rural communities; and protect transportation routes for farmers to get their crops to market. That’s why I will always fight to protect the Columbia and Snake River Dams ,which are essential infrastructure in Eastern Washington. Farmers in Washington State provide food security to communities across the country and the world!
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