Archive for July, 2018

McMorris Rodgers and Trump: That thing they have

Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ position in Congress gives her a wealth of power and influence in the United States. It also puts her near our President, Donald Trump. She has used most of her career to increase her political rank and status in this country and now, as she is the highest-ranking female of the Republican party, it is important to understand her connections to our President.

Cathy and DonaldMany in the Republican party are having to answer for the things Trump says and does, and while they may not claim to support everything he does, they have done little to act in opposition. Cathy is not an exception. In 2016, a recording of a conversation between members of the GOP, including Cathy McMorris Rodgers, was released to the public. Paul Ryan, McMorris Rodgers and other top-ranking members of the GOP made light of Trump being paid by Putin and how, “what’s said in the family, stays in the family”. Paul Ryan and McMorris Rodgers had spent the entire first half of the conversation discussing their fears over Russian propaganda and their meddling in US affairs. Rodgers stood by.

As she continues to climb the political ladder, it’s clear she sticks to the Republican script. Her voting record speaks for itself. Instead of distancing herself from Trump, she continues to support his policies. Earlier this year she was even considered by President Trump for a position within his cabinet, the Secretary of the Interior. As Secretary of the Interior Rodgers would have gained additional influence over proceedings in the State of Washington regarding use of natural resources, conservation, and our national parks. She was most likely being considered because she was a leader in the transition team for the Trump administration.

Rodgers has made several statements criticizing the Trump administration, but she has yet to take any further action against him. She continually votes within party lines and seeks to move to higher positions within her party. She has been very successful at climbing the political ladder and to her credit, it gives her a greater amount of influence. As the highest ranking female Republican in Congress she is a champion on women’s issues from a conservative perspective.

McMorris on Women’s Issues

Currently she is working with Ivanka Trump on a childcare proposal that would help decrease the cost of childcare for working mothers. The proposal was assigned to Ivanka by her father and stands as one of his administration’s few attempts to satisfy women’s rights issues. Rodgers was an obvious choice to aid in this effort. Although few Democrats would disagree with the proposal’s main function, McMorris Rodgers has been criticized for failing to support women’s rights in other areas. For instance, she voted against paid parental leave in 2009 which is exactly what this proposal is trying to implement.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers attempts to shield herself against her weaknesses with statements like, “every issue is a women’s issue”. It’s a subtle way around voting against the right of women to have access to contraceptives or abortions. These important issues are specific to women, so she must draw attention away from them. It may be fair to say, “every issue is a women’s issue”, but not every women’s issue seems to matter to men. Donald Trump has made many disrespectful statements about women and McMorris Rodgers has little if anything to say in response to this.

Immigration and Taxes

Other issues that align our President with Cathy McMorris Rodgers are issues like immigration and taxes. Rodgers has repeated indicated that she supports one of Donald Trump’s most controversial proposals, the southern border wall. Scholars generally agree that a border wall is not effective at keeping people from moving across borders, it’s more of a statement. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is making a statement by supporting it. She would rather not disrupt her party’s unanimity or her relationship with Trump to speak out against a wasteful and ineffective border protection tactic.

When it comes to taxes it’s hard for a Republican leader to escape the typical conservative stance. Cathy promoted Donald Trump’s tax cut plan as a boon to the middle class, and while most Americans will see a small increase in their paychecks for the next eight years, there is an expiration date. Taxpaying citizens will see these cuts go away in 2025, but corporations will enjoy their tax breaks indefinitely and have no obligation to pay their employees more because of it.

Attacks on Our Country

Where was our congresswoman Republican McMorris Rodgers when her country needed her this week?

Russians intend to target our country again this election season. To prevent an attack on our country election systems, Democrat Rep. Steny Hoyer from Maryland gave a passionate speech in Congress asking Republicans to vote in favor of approving funding for grants to states and counties for vital cybersecurity upgrades for this years elections. He pleaded for bipartisanship, but Republicans said “nope”. Republicans refused to vote for the funding and put our country first. From the Washington Post:

House Republicans on Thursday approved a spending bill that excludes new money for election security grants to states, provoking a furious reaction from Democrats amid a national controversy over Russian election interference.

The spending bill passed 217-199. Democrats’ bid to add hundreds of millions more in election spending was rejected 182-232 — as Republicans were unmoved by Democrats floor speeches decrying the funding changes and chanting “USA! USA!”

At issue is a grants program overseen by the federal Election Assistance Commission and aimed at helping states administer their elections and improve voting systems; Democrats want to continue grant funding through 2019, while Republicans say the program already has been fully funded.

House Republicans refused to allow a vote on a Democratic amendment to fund protections for election systems to protect voting from cyber attacks and hacking. Instead the Republicans preferred a spending bill that ends grant funding for that.

Republicans can find money to separate babies from their mothers and put them in jail. They can find money for military parades to bolster Trump’s ego. They can give billions of dollars of tax breaks to the rich. Why cannot they find more money to help local governments keep our elections secure?

Update: News also broke today that five cybersecurity experts have left and/or are leaving the FBI.

Mental Health and Gun Violence

(Letter-to-The-Editor) So the NRA and its Republican puppets, such as our own Cathy McMorris Rodgers, think the best way of counteracting terrorism, including school shootings, is improving mental health conditions rather than limiting gun availability.

Then I can’t think of any better way of breeding terrorists who want to strike back at the US than inflicting huge trauma on children by forcible separation from their parents.

With Lisa Brown we’ll get action for BOTH improved mental health conditions AND limited availability of military-style assault weapons.

Norm Luther
Spokane, WA 99223
July 8, 2018