Cathy McMorris Rogers visits WSU as elections approach

Rogers runs for 10th term; she wants students to engage with politics, current issues



Cathy McMorris Rogers answers questions from students at the Foley Talk, Oct. 27.


U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, came to WSU to engage students in the election process and discuss her views on abortion, healthcare and drug use at a Foley Talk on Thursday.

Rodgers said she represents 12 eastern counties from the Canadian border down to the Oregon border.

She has visited WSU before to speak to students, but she received an invitation to return as elections are right around the corner.

She is anti-abortion, and her goal is to protect as many lives as possible. She said she does not want women to feel like their only option is abortion.

“So what you’ve seen me support in Congress is limiting abortion after 20 weeks, prohibiting the partial-birth abortion, no taxpayer funding of abortion,” she said. “But bottom line, I want us to be supporting women and children at every stage of life, and that’s where I’m going to continue to focus my attention.”

Rodgers said she has supported legislation to expand Medicaid to help with maternal health and extend benefits for one year after birth.

She has worked on incentives for employers to offer more paternal and maternal paid leave and give them more flexibility as well, she said.

Rodgers also discussed hiring 87,000 news Internal Revenue Service agents, which she said she did not vote for. She does not believe there is a need for such a high number of agents.

“The Republicans have released a commitment to America,” she said. “There’s four pillars. It’s around an economy that is strong, so addressing inflation spending and energy in a nation that is safe, like securing the border and addressing drugs and fentanyl, especially coming into the United States.”

Rodgers said securing the border is important because fentanyl is now the number one killer for people ages 18-35.

She encourages people to really look at what type of pills they are taking if they do take pills. She said many people have lost loved ones after they took certain drugs, like oxycodone, thinking it was safe when it was actually laced with fentanyl.

“Certainly there’s those that are addicted and are struggling with substance abuse, … but there’s a lot of families right now that have lost loved ones when there was not an addiction,” she said.

Rodgers said she is running for her position again because it is a privilege to represent Washington’s fifth Congressional District.

“I work hard every day to improve people’s lives, create more opportunities,” Rogers said. “None of us are perfect, but we are in search of that more perfect union.”

She is a ranking Republican for the Energy and Commerce Committee for Republicans, which is responsible for food and drug safety, public health and research, environmental quality, and more.

Rodgers said the committee has been at the forefront of some of the most important issues the country has faced, like health services, and it digs deep into energy and climate issues as well.

“This committee is very broad in its jurisdiction and I’m proud of the work we’ve done in the past two years,” she said.  “I’m especially excited to … be able to lead on the Energy and Commerce Committee for Republicans. It’s going to make a big difference on energy and healthcare.”

She came out to WSU to discuss her values, which are based on having fun while serving in office and seeking excellence, she said.

“I have been so encouraged as we have rallied around those values and really kept them at the forefront,” she said. “[It has] made it a much more happier place to work and we really can have fun while we serve.”

Rodgers’ full discussion can be found on YouTube, and future Foley Talks can be found on the Foley Institute website.