McMorris Rodgers to rebut Obama

Republicans select Congresswoman to discuss national issues Tuesday

— Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Spokane has been selected to provide the Republican rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

McMorris Rodgers represents the 5th Congressional District, which includes northern Okanogan County. She is the most senior woman in the House.

“I am humbled and honored to announce that I will be delivering the Republican address to the nation after the President’s State of the Union address on Tuesday evening,” McMorris Rodgers said late Thursday.

“I look forward to sharing the Republican vision for a better future – one that trusts the American people and doesn’t limit where you finish because of where you started.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner of Ohio and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky announced McMorris Rodgers’ selection.

In a prepared statement, Boehner said:

“Through the lens of her family’s experiences, Cathy will share our vision for a better America built on a thriving middle class.

“We are grateful to Cathy for lending her voice and perspective to this national occasion.”

McMorris Rodgers’ comments will follow the president’s speech, slated for 6 p.m. PST Tuesday night.

McMorris Rodgers is serving her fifth term in Washington, D.C., and is the fourth most senior Republican in the House.

“As always, my top priority is making life better for the people of Eastern Washington,” she said. “I hope that this is an opportunity to put a spotlight on the incredible, caring, and innovative people in our community.

Political pundits expect Obama to focus on the economy and jobs in the speech.

While he will likely also take a few minutes to talk about the Affordable Care Act, pundits said he’s not likely to spend much time on it in the wake of the troubled roll out of what many have dubbed “Obamacare.”

McMorris Rodgers has been a central figure in the Republican challenge of the national health care program.

In October, she grilled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebellius over Obamacare problems.

The last Washington state official to provide the rebuttal to a president’s state of the union speech was Gov. Gary Locke.

A Democrat, Locke gave his party’s rebuttal in 2003 to President George W. Bush.

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