The Washington Post

Five things to know about State of the Union responder Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Republicans have selected Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) to deliver the official response to President Obama's State of the Union address next Tuesday.

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

So just who is McMorris Rodgers? Here are five things to know about her:

1. She's the highest-ranking woman in the GOP Conference. McMorris Rodgers is the House Republican Conference chairwoman. That means she is the fourth-ranking Republican in the House. First elected in 2004, McMorris Rodgers quickly ascended the GOP hierarchy, becoming a member of leadership in 2009.

2. She's the first woman to respond since Kathleen Sebelius in 2008. Sebelius, now Health and Human Services secretary, delivered the Democratic response to George W. Bush's final State of the Union speech as governor of Kansas. The last Republican woman to respond was Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) in 2000. Click here for a full list of responders dating back to 1966.

3. She made history with the birth of her third child. Brynn Catherine Rodgers arrived in the world last November and brought some history along with her. McMorris Rodgers became the first member to give birth three times while serving in Congress. Her son Cole was born in 2007 and her daughter Grace was born in 2010.

4. She co-founded the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus. McMorris Rodgers's son Cole has Down syndrome. She founded and currently co-chairs the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus along with Reps. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).

5. She's the descendant of pioneers. According to her congressional biography, McMorris Rodgers is the descendant of pioneers who settled in Walla Walla, Wash., in 1853.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Be a man and cry
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
Play Videos
Drawing as an act of defiance
A flood of refugees from Syria but only a trickle to America
Chicago's tacos, four ways
Play Videos
What you need to know about filming the police
What you need to know about trans fats
Syrian refugee: 'I’m committed to the power of music'
Play Videos
Riding the X2 with D.C.'s most famous rapper
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Europe's migrant crisis, explained
Next Story
Chris Cillizza · January 23, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.