Tag: Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Page 1 of 2)

McMorris Rodgers: House Republicans Moving to Use ‘Purse Strings’ to Rein in IRS

On Wednesday, House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) announced that Republicans will introduce an appropriations bill next week that couples continued funding for the Internal Revenue Service with key accountability measures designed to rein in abuses within the scandal-ridden federal tax collection agency.

“As you know, the House holds the purse strings,” the highest ranking Republican woman in Congress said Wednesday afternoon on a conference call with reporters from new media along with Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Penn.).

McMorris Rodgers revealed that next week House Republicans will move forward the appropriations bill containing appropriations for IRS, and that the measure will also place some restrictions on how the IRS can use its funds.

Among the accountability provisions mentioned were a prohibition on the IRS’ implementation of proposed regulation changes for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. The bill would also ban the IRS from using funds for activities that curb first amendment-protected activities, as well as restrain the agency from ever again spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars in the production of truly awful employee training videos.

Both representatives expressed that the failure of the IRS and the Obama administration to address the agency’s problems has necessitated congressional action.

McMorris Rodgers remarked that the IRS is able to “demand compliance from moms, dads and small businesses, and [their failure to comply with the congressional investigation] is just wrong.”

“There’s still a huge amount of concern among the American people that we are not getting all of the answers,” said Gerlach.

Gerlach added that because of the absence of cooperation from the IRS and a lack of action from the Office of the Inspector General and the Department of Justice, the Obama administration has “left the American people in a position where they simply don’t believe the President on this issue.”

It is very likely that such a measure will pass the House. It is just as probable that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s reflex will be to drop it into a deep, dark desk drawer, never to be seen again.

Ironically, the frustrating Democratic strategy of forcing continuing resolutions for funding the government may ultimately give Republicans the leverage they need.

If Republicans can isolate appropriations for the most-hated federal agency, Democrats could be forced in September to argue against making a rogue agency accountable.

Unlike in the last shutdown standoff, threatening to have the IRS go dark is unlikely to generate much public sympathy to elevate the Democratic position in negotiations.

And all just in time for critical midterm elections in which Democrats are desperately hoping to hang on to Senate.

Air Force Says ‘No, Thanks’ to Fairchild AFB Bid to be First Base for New Air Tankers [Updated]

KC-46A-600x400The U.S. Air Force announced its decision Wednesday to base the initial delivery of its newest long-range air refueling tanker – the Boeing-built KC-46A – at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Ks., a decision that disappointed Washington state political leaders who had actively lobbied for Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, Wash. to win the honor.

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) expressed disappointment over the Air Force decision, but also looked forward to Fairchild being the home to future deliveries of the KC-46A.

[pullquote align=”right”]State Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane): “The last time I checked, North Korea, China and Russia were all closer to Washington than to Kansas.”[/pullquote]“While it was our hope that Fairchild would be the preferred base to host the next-generation refueling tankers, today’s announcement included recognition that Fairchild is a vibrant and busy base, and will compete well for new tankers,” McMorris Rodgers said. “As the Air Force continues to base KC-46A refueling tankers at additional installations over the next few years, I am confident that Fairchild will compete very well. It is a great base and will have a valuable mission moving forward.”

Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) added his thoughts to those of McMorris Rodgers, and this will mark the first (and perhaps last) time this writer will commend Gov. Jay Inslee for making a truly prescient comment in his prepared statement regarding the Air Force decision:

“This is an extremely unfortunate decision by the Air Force. Fairchild Air Force Base has a strong tradition as an integral part of our national defense and is ideally located, particularly as U.S. strategy calls for directing greater attention to the Pacific theater. The Air Force’s decision today does not follow that important national policy.”

Inslee’s comment is warranted and should prompt further conversation. Two points to consider: 1) The Obama administration has been outspoken about its desire to reorganize the military mission around a primary objective of keeping China in check; and 2) a June summit is approaching between Pres. Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jiping during which North Korea and a number of serious trade issues will be discussed. Discuss.

Update: Shortly after this story was posted, state Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) released a statement on the tanker decision that raised ambiguous questions about whether politics governed the basing decision.

“I’m very disappointed in the Air Force’s decision and I sincerely hope that it is not politically motivated,” Baumgartner remarked in a prepared statement issued by the state Senate Majority Coalition Caucus. “The last time I checked, North Korea, China and Russia were all closer to Washington than to Kansas. Fairchild is certainly well prepared and well positioned to be utilizing the new KC-46As.”

“My concern comes not only as the senator from Washington’s 6th District, home to Fairchild, but also as someone who has previously participated in advising strategic American defense policy decisions,” Baumgartner continued. “While we may face threats from across the globe, clearly the greatest challenges that may involve the KC-46A will most likely come from the Pacific Rim.”

McMorris Rodgers VP Buzz Getting Louder

Speculation earlier this month that Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R, WA-5) could be on the short list of possible Republican vice presidential candidates seems more prescient, following a Sunday mention on Fox News and a high position in revised VP rankings posted Saturday on a popular election blog

McMorris Rodgers—the highest ranking Republican woman in Congress—turned up at #6 in power rankings for the Republican vice presidential nomination published at Race 4 2012, behind a quintet of household names that includes Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

When McMorris Rodgers was asked on Fox & Friends Sunday morning whether she would accept a VP nomination if it was offered to her, she said, “It’s way too early for all that.”

Is it too early? Perhaps not.

If none of the four Republican candidates are able to take a commanding lead in the primary, could candidates begin to see benefits in making an early VP choice? If a close race for the top spot on the ticket appears deadlocked coming out of Super Tuesday, the selection of strong second-seater could be a critical tie-breaker, particularly if the fight for the nomination brings delegates from non-binding states (like McMorris Rodgers’ home state of Washington) into play.

For now, McMorris Rodgers said she remains “focused on being the best representative that I can be for the people of Eastern Washington,” and her immediate priority for the presidential race is to fulfill her role as the Washington State chair of Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign.

“One thing I do know is that we need a new president come November of 2012, and I am full force doing everything I can to help get Gov. Mitt Romney elected,” told Fox News.


[photo credit: republicanconference]

Obama Budget Burdens Average Household with $200K in Federal Debt, Republicans Say

The FY2013 budget proposed by Pres. Barack Obama will increase the average U.S. household share of the federal debt to almost $200,000 by the year 2022, an amount likely to surpass the average household’s net worth over time, according to economic survey data and new projections released today by Senate Budget Committee Republicans.

Based on the numbers in Obama’s new budget proposal, 10 more years of planned deficit spending are projected to create a federal tax burden for the average American household of $195,000.

These new projections for accelerated debt expansion prompt a symbolic question with serious implications: If the average American family was required to cover their portion of the federal debt, would they be driven into bankruptcy based on their net worth?

The search for an answer to that question offers a sobering look at the degree to which taxpayers are heavily burdened by the federal government’s obligations.

The Federal Reserve collects information about household finances and the most recent data from 2009—in the wake of the climax of the banking and finance collapse of 2008—found the average U.S. household net worth to be $96,000. Also in 2009—the year of the first stimulus package—gross federal debt stood nearly $100,000 per household, a figure that has continued to grow while the economy continues to drag. If substitute the term “assets” for household net worth and “liabilities” for gross federal debt per household, another term emerges from the fiscal lexicon: Bankruptcy.

Since 2009, gross federal debt has continued increased along with spending, hence the warning from Republicans that the Obama administration’s newest plan for more deficit spending piles on a new layer of debt for future generations.

With the current household share of federal debt hovering near $130,000, and a projected acceleration of that debt load to $195,000, can American families build net worth fast enough in the next 10 years to keep from being ‘bankrupted’ by government debt? Recent history provides cause for skepticism.

Between 1998 and 2007—on average, a bullish 10-year period for average Americans—U.S. Census data shows that U.S. households experienced in an increase in net worth of almost 25 percent.  If net worth grew were able to grow at that rate again, it would only rise to $120,000 for the average household by 2022, a figure that falls far short of the $195,000 debt figure.

In this way of looking at our debt, in order to get one step ahead of its share of the federal debt, an average U.S. household will need to double its net worth by 2022 if the Obama administration’s budget were to be authorized.

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) described the potential ramifications of the Democrats’ tax and spend policies in the weekly Republican address this past Saturday:

If we keep on going like this, the consequences will be devastating. As we’ve learned from Greece and the European Union, no country can escape the costs of big government policies forever. The president’s budget isn’t a blueprint for America – it’s a roadmap to Greece.

[Watch the complete video of McMorris Rodgers’ address here.]

In an op-ed published in The Washington Post this weekend, Republican budget hawks Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) also argued for a sounder fiscal strategy and suggested there is bipartisan support for a better budget solution:

[We] refuse to accept the diminished future outlined by President Obama’s budget. A growing bipartisan consensus recognizes the core elements our country needs: responsible spending restraint; a repaired safety net; reforms that ensure real health and retirement security; and a simplified tax code oriented toward growth.


McMorris Rodgers for Vice President? Yes, You Should Give It a Second Thought.

As former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney continues to push forward toward a possible win of the Republican presidential nomination – riding on concurrent double-digit victories in this week’s Florida primary and Nevada caucuses—all politicians not named Romney are preparing for “the question.”

The query from the political beat reporters has many variations, but goes something like this: “If asked, would you accept an invitation to be the vice presidential nominee on the Republican ticket?”

Last week, the question was put to Republican House Conference Vice Chair and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R, WA-5), the highest ranking Republican woman holding federal office who some are now suggesting has an outside chance of making it onto a longer list of potentials for the VP slot.

Will Rahn of The Daily Caller asked McMorris Rodgers about her feelings on a VP possibility during a blogger call last week. The four-term congresswoman responded that she had not given much thought to the question, had not yet spoken to any of the candidates, but ultimately left the door open in the case that the presidential candidate were to signal interest. From The Daily Caller:

For now, though, McMorris Rodgers is staying coy about her vice presidential prospects.

“It’s hard for me to imagine the nominee would actually approach me, you know?” she told TheDC when asked whether she’d consider taking the job. “I think I’ll just leave it at that, and we’ll see where it goes.”

If the Republican Party is looking for a historic gesture to under-served communities—women and blue state voters—offering McMorris Rodgers a spot below the president on the ticket could kill two birds with one stone.

Since the Evergreen State was granted statehood in 1889–a span of 123 years this November–the U.S. has held 40 presidential elections, 21 president and 25 vice presidents have held office, but the major parties have not recruited a presidential or vice presidential candidate from Washington State, despite its economic and geographic standing as an anchor of the Pacific Northwest states.

In recent elections, even the states of Wyoming and Delaware (3 electoral votes each) have had their turns, for political advantages not related to electoral math. Why not Washington with its 12 electoral votes and recent trends indicating the voter biases for Democratic candidates has begun to reverse?

With McMorris Rodgers storming the campaign trail, Republicans might hope to pull the Washington further into play, but it may also be one avenue for Republicans to make a second run at the ones that got away in 2008—female voters.

McMorris Rodgers displays all of Palin’s spirit on critical issues relating to budget, defense, and the economy without the bombastic character—a conservative reformer with a finely-honed ability to bridge political divides by listening and taking the pulse of the voters.

McMorris Rodgers also brings an impressive portfolio of achievements to bear. Her outreach work and personal affiliation with working women and military families has attracted widespread attention and praise. She has been a consistent voice for fiscal sanity, and is one of the leading proponents in the House for the passage of a balance budget amendment, and was the first member of Congress to warn about the fallout from using U.S. taxpayer-backed funds in any bailout of the European economic crisis.


[photo credit: republicanconference]

Rep. McMorris Rodgers Responds to State of the Union, Urges a Return to Fundamentals

On Tuesday evening, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R, WA-5) issued a direct response to Pres. Barack Obama’s 2012 State of Union address, restating her commitment to working with the White House and others in Congress but questioning whether Obama’s proposals constituted little more than an effort to recycle ideas that have already produced a record of failure for his administration.

McMorris Rodgers released her audio statement shortly after the conclusion of the Republican response by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, aiming at the host of government-driven policies outlined in the President’s one hour and five minute speech to Congress and the nation, a list highlighted by a tax proposal for increasing the amount paid by wealthier Americans as well as a goal to enlarge the federal government’s stake in so-called “clean” energy technologies.

Read McMorris Rodgers’ entire statement below or listen to an audio recording.

“What I heard from the President tonight was mostly a defense of his failed policies, and after three years of economic turmoil, that is no longer acceptable to the people of Eastern Washington or the American people.

“Instead of promising ‘more of the same,’ the President should have invited Congress to work with him on free market-solutions to revive our economy and put our fiscal house in order.  So far, House Republicans have passed 27 jobs bills which take this ‘back to basics’ approach, but the Senate refuses to consider them and the President ignores them. That is not leadership.  Last week, the President’s own Jobs Council released a report validating many Republican ideas on job creation – including tax reform, regulatory relief, and expanding domestic energy production.  Those ideas can be the basis for bipartisan discussion and action.  But as we saw with the recent Keystone decision and tonight’s speech, the President has decided that while jobs can wait, his campaign cannot.

“Despite the current challenges, I remain hopeful that Congress and the White House can still work together to solve our nation’s problems.  This will be an important session of Congress, and I pledge to do my part to find common ground, change the direction of our country, and keep the American Dream alive for the next generation.

“I will also be using this session of Congress to advocate for bipartisan initiatives directly focused on Eastern Washington, including bringing the KC-46A tanker to Fairchild Air Force Base, completing the North Spokane Corridor, and passing my bills to expand Graduate Medical Education in Spokane and bolster hydropower production.”


[photo credit: WashingtonSRC]

McMorris Rodgers Ranks Fifth on List of Influential Conservative Women

In the opinion of a conservative political blog, Washington can add a new name to our list of women elected to public office who have parlayed political appeal into considerable influence.

Noteworthy political blog Right Wing News recently ranked Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5) as the 5th most influential conservative women in the U.S., behind former Gov. Sarah Palin, conservative luminary and author Ann Coulter, radio host and author Laura Ingraham, and fellow congresswoman and presidential candidate Michelle Bachman (MN-6).

Since her election in 2008 to serve as the Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, McMorris Rodgers has been fourth in the House Republican leadership and the highest ranking Republican woman.

Other notable entries on the 20-member list include author and columnist Michelle Malkin (6th), former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice (9th) and former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino (15th).

To read the entire list, please visit Right Wing News.


[photo credit: republicanconference]

GOP ‘Think-and-Do’ Tank Issues Low Scores For Obama on Jobs

GOPLabs, a team that is swiftly gaining a reputation as Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ “think-and-do” tank in the Capitol, has generated an assessment of Pres. Barack Obama’s progress on job creation.

Though Obama continues to beg for extra chances as he leans into a heavy schedule of political campaigning in advance of next year’s election, the facts about poor job growth continue to drive down his job approval numbers. Today’s report that the U.S. poverty rate is now at the highest point since 1993 is one more troubling data point voters will consider when grading Obama’s performance.

If judging the results of economic policy were like the Olympics, Obama could call on the East German judge for a lift. But as it stand, facts are facts, and the statistics brought to bear by GOPLabs are difficult to mitigate after more than two years of executive ineffectiveness.


[image courtesy of @GOPLabs]

McMorris Rodgers Sets Barnstorming Schedule to Field Constituent Feedback

On Thursday, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) announced a barnstorming schedule of public events to close out the August recess, a full slate of five events in five days culminating with her annual town hall on the last day of the month in Spokane.

McMorris Rodgers will use these events to meet and talk with constituents before heading back to the Capitol for what promises to be a busy fall legislative session.

“This will be a great opportunity for local citizens to interact with the Congresswoman and express their opinions on critical issues including jobs, government spending, health care, energy, and national security,” the release from McMorris Rodgers’ office stated.

McMorris Rodgers’ complete schedule of public events for the end of August is:

Thursday, August 25
10:30-11:30am – Walla Walla “Coffee with Cathy”
Port of Walla Walla
Conference Room
310 A Street
Walla Walla, WA

Friday, August 26
2:30-3:30pm – Clarkston “Coffee with Cathy”
Asotin County Family Aquatic Center
1603 Dustan Loop
Clarkston, WA

Monday, August 29
8:30-9:30am – Newport “Coffee with Cathy”
PUD Administrative Building
Box Canyon Conference Room
130 N. Washington
Newport, WA

Monday, August 29
1:00-2:00pm – Davenport “Coffee with Cathy”
Community Memorial Center
511 Park Street
Davenport, WA

Wednesday, August 31
6:00-7:00pm – Spokane Town Hall
Lincoln Center
1316 N. Lincoln
Spokane, WA

[photo credit: flickr]

Working Washington and Soup Line Protests Are Just New Facade for Big Labor

The 1960s had their love-ins and sit-ins and the new millennium will now have its first soup-in. On Thursday, the group Working Washington will be performing their own brand of culinary street theater, staging what they call a “Depression-era unemployment line, with free soup for the unemployed” in the vicinity of Congressman Dave Reichert’s district office on Mercer Island. The flavor of the day? You guessed it: class warfare consommé.

Working Washington spokesperson Anne Martens is quoted at The Stranger’s Slog blog as saying, “We’ve had enough of Rep. Reichert’s support of Wall Street and the very rich at the expense of the rest of us. He’s our Congressman and his job is to stand up for us. Let’s tell him we need good jobs now.”

The group is organizing a similar protest targeting Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in Spokane, begging the question: How does a group of starving unemployed folks organize and coordinate on both sides of the state?

If you sense a larger hand may be pulling the strings, keep reading.

As a spokesperson for the concerns of the downtrodden, Martens herself has not spent much time living on the dole. According to her LinkedIn profile (screenshots are archived in case it magically disappears from the Interweb), her resume doing communications and media work for Democrats and progressives in Washington State is unbroken going back to 2008. Until June 2011, Martens worked communications for Seattle progressive locus Fuse, before which she was the Washington State Democratic Party’s communications director, before which she did independent work with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. That takes us back to her role as messaging captain on the Yes on I-1000 Death with Dignity campaign in 2008.

But behind Martens and the façade of poverty her group projects is a familiar force in modern subversive politics. There are no disclosure and precious few clues on Working Washington’s Facebook page or their website to identify how the group is organized or funded, but a little investigative digging began to uncover bits and pieces about who and what is behind Working Washington.

Only one nonprofit is registered in the Washington State Corporations Division database using the name “Working Washington.” The organization’s directors are shown in state records as Sergio Salinas – president of SEIU Local 6 – and Ana Crapsey – listed on LinkedIn as being an administrator on the SEIU Washington State Council.

The Public Disclosure Commission also has received recent filings for a political committee calling itself “Working Washington PAC,” a group that registered on August 4th, 2011 after receiving an initial cash contribution of $1,000 from (wait for it) SEIU Healthcare 775NW. Adam Glickman is listed on PDC documents as chairman of Working Washington PAC; some guy named Adam Glickman-Flora also happens to sits on the executive board of SEIU Healthcare 775NW.

If those facts aren’t enough to satisfy your craving for a good Perry Mason reveal, a listing for Working Washington found on a Democratic grassroots networking website has links to the official Working Washington website, lists the group as a non-profit advocacy organization, and gives a contact email with an SEIU 775NW address.

Organized labor spent truckloads of money during this off-year cycle in the state of Wisconsin to fight Republican efforts to regain some ground in collective bargaining. The SEIU and AFL-CIO were looking for a knockout punch in the recall elections – a clean sweep of all six state senators they targeted for removal. After realizing only milquetoast results – only two seats changed hands – any political strategist might think about going underground and rebranding.

Similar weak outcomes were seen from the union’s full court press during the most recent legislative session in Olympia. Union reps marched, they screamed, they caused unrest, but they did not achieve measurable victories.

Off with the purple shirts and on with the Working Washington green.


[photo credit: flickr]

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