WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Spokane) has been selected by her party to be the Republican leader of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. She becomes the first woman to hold a leadership role at the committee that exercises authority over healthcare, technology, environmental, and energy policies.
McMorris Rodgers will be filling the seat held by Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River), who retires at the end of this month. She defeated Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas and Rep. Bob Latta of Ohio for the job. The selection by the House Republican Steering Committee still must be ratified by the party’s entire membership in the House later this week, but observers in Washington say that is considered a formality.
“I’m honored to have earned the support of my colleagues to serve as the Republican leader of the House Energy and Commerce Committee,” she wrote in a prepared statement. “This committee is critical to addressing the issues that matter to people in Eastern Washington, like bridging the digital divide, bringing doctors to rural communities, keeping energy rates low, and protecting free speech online.”
McMorris Rodgers is a champion of hydroelectric power. She has also called for free-market innovation to address climate change.