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GOP Responds: Help People Rather Than the Government

January 29, 2014
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WASHINGTON (AP) - Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers on Tuesday offered a kinder, gentler vision of Republicans who are determined to empower Americans, not the government, and close the gap "between where you are and where you want to be."

Tapped to deliver the GOP response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, McMorris Rodgers touched on the daily routines of average Americans that overshadow Washington, from kissing children goodnight to preparing for a doctor's visit, and pointed out how she says Obama's policies are making life harder.

The highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress said the GOP believes "in a government that trusts people and doesn't limit where you finish because of where you started. That is what we stand for - for an America that is every bit as compassionate as it is exceptional. Our plan is one that dreams big for everyone and turns its back on no one."

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McMORRIS RODGERS

Noteworthy for a member of the Republican leadership, McMorris Rodgers expressed support for changing the nation's immigration system, though she made no mention of what to do about the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.

The chairwoman of the House Republican Conference focused on dealing with border security and expanding visas to attract high-tech workers.

McMorris Rodgers said that under the president's economic policies "more Americans stopped looking for a job than found one," and criticized his health care overhaul for leading to canceled insurance coverage and patients unable to see their regular doctors.

"Republicans believe health care choices should be yours, not the government's," said the five-term congresswoman from eastern Washington. "And that whether you're a boy with Down syndrome or a woman with breast cancer, you can find coverage and a doctor who will treat you."

McMorris Rodgers' son, Cole, 6, has Down syndrome, and she co-founded the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus six years ago to try to raise awareness of the difficulties that children with the syndrome face. The 44-year-old lawmaker delivered her third child just eight weeks ago.

Countering recent Democrat defenses of government, McMorris Rodgers said the mission is "to ensure that we are not bound by where we come from, but empowered by what we can become. That is the gap Republicans are working to close. It's the gap we all face: between where you are and where you want to be."

 
 

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