“At the heart of the opportunity we now have is the opportunity to rethink the federal government.”

McMorris Rodgers Discusses Effort to Reform Health Care & Rewrite the Tax Code

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5) appeared before a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society yesterday morning, delivering remarks not only about the effort underway on Capitol Hill to reform health care and rewrite tax code, but why she believes Congress has “an opportunity to rethink the federal government” this year.

“We believe it is very important that we remain focused on the work we were elected to do,” the Washington lawmaker stated.   “This is a unique moment, and we have a window of opportunity to get things done. At the top of our agenda are those policies which are going to create jobs, grow the economy, and spur innovation to unleash American ingenuity.

“You think about what we’ve done to lift the regulatory burden.  And on health care, we promised to repeal and replace Obamacare to put individuals and their doctors back in charge of health care decision-making, and ensure that there is transparency and accountability in the health care system. The American Health Care Act was an important first step toward achieving those goals.”

McMorris Rodgers serves as Chair of the Republican Conference, the fourth ranking leadership position in the House of Representatives.  She has served in this position for just over four years, taking over for former Conference Chair Mike Pence when he was elected Governor of Indiana in November 2012.

“I am honored to serve as Chair of the Republican Conference,” she said of her leadership role.  “When I was elected Vice Chair of the Conference several years ago, Mike Pence was the Chairman. And I put together a plan to bring Republicans into the 21st Century as it related to our media strategy. It started out as simple as just getting Republicans to use different platforms and other social media tools that were available. And it has continued through the years.  We’re continuing to work to be smarter on our digital strategy.  That’s where people get their news.  And in today’s environment, it has been especially challenging.”

In recent months, McMorris Rodgers stated, she has made it a priority to begin building relationships between members of the Republican Conference and officials in the new Administration.

“We’re hosting a ‘Meet the Cabinet’ series,” she revealed, “where every week we have a Cabinet member come in to meet with the members, have a discussion, and hear their vision for the agency.  Later today, for example, we have Rick Perry coming in, talking all things energy.  We also had Elaine Chao come in a few weeks ago, and Ryan Zinke come in, as well, to talk about the restructuring at Interior.  EPA director Scott Pruitt came in and talked a lot about regulations. They have all been really good discussions.”

One area where Congress and the Administration can and must work together, she said, is in rewriting the tax code and reducing the tax burden being placed on the American people.

“We believe this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pass tax reform,” she declared.  “Many of us also believe that it is one of the best things we can do to grow our economy. You know, Tax Freedom Day was April 23rd.  This year, Americans will pay $3.5 trillion in federal taxes and $1.6 trillion in state and local taxes.  That means their total tax bill will be $5.1 trillion – which is more than Americans will collectively spend in 2017 on food, clothing, and housing combined.  Think about what it would mean if we could provide a way for Americans to keep more of their hard-earned dollars.”

Following her remarks, McMorris Rodgers was asked a number of questions, including one about the current political environment in Washington and how it is being viewed by the people she represents back home.

“President Trump was elected because Americans want to see things changed in Washington, DC,” McMorris Rodgers stated.  “They want to see us get things done.  Yes, it’s different than anything we’ve ever seen before.  But there’s also an opportunity, and I think we can’t miss that.  For example, I just introduced a bill called The Unauthorized Spending Accountability Act.  At the heart of this legislation and at the heart of the opportunity we now have is the opportunity to rethink the federal government.  If people have ideas about how things can be done more efficiently and effectively in Washington, now is the time to put those ideas forward.  The time for reform is upon us.  We cannot lose sight of that goal.”

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.