Campaign 2010

Jan 28, 2014

Republican Rebuttal: Fresh Face, Rotten Record

With three different Republican responses to the State of the Union tonight, it can be tough to determine who is actually speaking for the party.  Congressional Republicans want voters to think that Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers represents a fresh face at a time when Speaker Boehner’s approval ratings have hit historic lows.  The problem is that Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers has supported the same reckless agenda that has led to rock-bottom approval ratings for Republicans in Congress.

“Congressional Republicans’ record low approval ratings can’t be fixed by a fresh face as long as they keep the same rotten agenda,” said Josh Schwerin of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  “Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers has joined her reckless Congressional Republican colleagues in their attacks on women’s rights and the middle class. Now, McMorris Rodgers is continuing to refuse to raise the minimum wage or extend unemployment insurance while protecting taxpayer subsidies for big oil and the ultra wealthy – the wrong priorities for the American people.”

BACKGROUND:

Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers Has Voted with Republicans 96 Percent of the Time This Congress.  According to the Washington Post U.S. Congress votes database, McMorris Rodgers has voted with Republicans 96 percent of the time this Congress so far. [Washington Post, accessed 1/27/14]

Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers Voted Repeatedly Against Extending Unemployment, Though Her District Has Highest Unemployment Rate in Washington State. McMorris Rodgers voted twice in January 2014 and once in December 2013 against considering extending Emergency Unemployment Compensation for three months. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported, “The 5th District, in Eastern Washington, has higher unemployment and public assistance rates than the rest of the state.” [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1/23/14; H Res 458, Vote #19, 1/15/14; H Res 455, Vote #5, 1/09/14; H Res 438, Vote #637, 12/12/13]

Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers Voted Against Raising the Minimum Wage, Though it Would Help 446,000 in Washington State.  In 2013, McMorris Rodgers voted against increasing the minimum wage. Upon enactment, the measure would have increased the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.20 within three months. A year from this date, the federal minimum wage would increase from $8.20 to $9.15. A year from this date, the federal minimum wage would increase to $10.10. In 2013, the  Economic Policy Institute estimated that 446,000 total in Washington state would be directly and indirectly affected by raising the minimum wage to $10.10. [HR 803, Vote #74, 3/15/13; Economic Policy Institute, 3/13/13]

Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers Voted Three Times for Budget Proposals that Would end the Guaranteed Medicare Benefit, Raising Costs for Seniors. In 2011, 2012, and 2013, McMorris Rodgers voted for the House Republican budget. The Wall Street Journal reported that the 2011 budget “would essentially end Medicare” and the CBO estimated that the 2011 budget would cost Medicare beneficiaries $6,400 more annually. CNN reported that the 2013 proposal “is essentially the same as others the House Budget Committee chair has proposed in previous years.” [H Con Res 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11; H Con Res 112, Vote #151, 3/29/12; H Con Res 25, Vote #88, 3/21/13; Wall Street Journal, 4/04/11; USA Today, 10/03/11; CNN 3/12/13]

Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers Backed Republican Plans that Led to Government Shutdown. In September 2013, McMorris Rodgers voted for four of the House Republicans continuing resolutions plans that essentially guaranteed a government shutdown. According to the Washington Post: “The U.S. government was poised to shut down for the first time in 17 years late Monday, as House Republicans clung tenaciously to their demand that any agreement to fund federal agencies must also undermine President Obama’s 2010 health-care law.” [Washington Post, 9/30/13; HJ RES. 59, Vote #478, 9/20/13; HJ Res 59, Vote #497, 9/29/13; HJ Res 59, Vote #498, 9/29/13; HJ Res 59, Vote #504, 9/30/13]

Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers was “Prime Sponsor of a Watered Down” Violence Against Women Act and Co-Sponsored Bill that Would Have Redefined Rape.  In 2014 the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported, “McMorris Rodgers, 44, was prime sponsor of a watered-down GOP alternative to the strengthened, Senate-passed legislation renewing the Violence Against Women Act.” In January 2011, McMorris Rodgers signed on as a cosponsor of HR 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act. The Washington Post reported that under HR 3, “rape becomes ‘forcible rape.’ Critics say the modifier could distinguish it from other kinds of sexual assault that are typically recognized as rape, including statutory rape and attacks that occur because of drugs or verbal threats.” [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1/23/14; HR 3 Cosponsors; Washington Post, 2/01/11