McMorris Rodgers explains vote in favor of Obama lawsuit

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U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said her vote authorizing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama was cast to voice frustration over what she called executive overreach.

“I certainly have heard a concern about the executive branch, the administration deciding unilaterally what the law is going to be,” McMorris Rodgers said in her downtown Spokane office Wednesday.

The five-term congresswoman is traveling the district and meeting with constituents this month during Congress’ August recess, including a town hall scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday at the Lincoln Center in north Spokane. She spoke about her vote to authorize a lawsuit against Obama as part of a wide-ranging conversation about issues facing the Department of Veterans Affairs, GOP leadership and more.

McMorris Rodgers joined 224 of her colleagues (including all members of the Inland Northwest delegation) in voting July 30 to move forward with a lawsuit against Obama, alleging overreach of authority in his decision to delay portions of the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act. McMorris Rodgers, chair of the House Republican conference, said the health care policy decision is just one example of ongoing attempts by Obama to avoid congressional oversight of implementation of laws. She also cited his enforcement of immigration laws and his failure to notify lawmakers about the trade with the Taliban for captured U.S. Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl.

“This isn’t a Republican versus Democrat issue,” McMorris Rodgers said. “This is a legislative versus executive issue.”

But the vote to authorize the lawsuit was made strictly along party lines. No Democrats in the House of Representatives voted for the resolution, and five Republicans split from the party to oppose it.

The White House and House Democrats have called the lawsuit a waste of time and taxpayers’ money. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, took to the Senate floor and said TV’s “Judge Judy” would toss the lawsuit within minutes.

McMorris Rodgers said she hopes the legal action will gain bipartisan support, because Obama’s actions “undermine representative government.”

Veterans upset

McMorris Rodgers is among the 420 members of Congress who voted for independent oversight of the Department of Veterans Affairs health care service delivery and allowing veterans who have had long waits for health care to obtain care from private doctors.

But, she said, “we still have a long way to go.”

“What are the policies that make sure we are meeting the needs of veterans in 2014? The structure of the VA has been the same way for a long time,” she said.

Though she has yet to visit the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane during this visit, McMorris Rodgers said she met recently with veterans in the district.

“They feel like they get lost, that the veteran gets lost in the whole system,” she said of her meetings with area veterans.

The Spokane medical center emerged from a national review of VA hospitals this summer with the shortest wait times for appointments of the three facilities in Washington. However, the 29-day average wait time at the Mann-Grandstaff center still exceeded the department’s stated goal of two weeks or less.

Cantor ouster ‘a loss’

McMorris Rodgers, herself a member of Republican leadership in the House, said her party was dealt “a loss” with the resignation of Majority Leader Eric Cantor earlier this summer.

“Eric Cantor was someone who had provided important leadership in the House for a number of years,” she said, calling him “very influential.”

Cantor lost his bid for re-election to the House early in the cycle, losing to tea party-backed David Brat in the Virginia primary held in June. Cantor announced shortly thereafter he’d be stepping down as majority leader, a title he’d held since January 2011. A private vote held by House Republicans ended with Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California as his replacement.

McMorris Rodgers emerged triumphant in her own primary held in Washington Aug. 5. She moved to the general election with almost 52 percent of the vote in a four-person race. Her next closest challenger was Democrat Joe Pakootas, whom she will face in the Nov. 4 election.

Comments

chicoli 5 months, 2 weeks ago

A lawsuit against our President? How sweet of a thought! Just bring it on, my friends. The GOP never lerned the lessons of the past. Another lesson to be lerned is in the making this coming November. How about impeachment? Please go ahead, make our day! I just can't wait!

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Kahunga 5 months, 2 weeks ago

McMorris Rogers might be a capable politician, but I rarely see any independent thoughts expressed by her. What I see are her parroting the party line, no matter how outrageous the claims. This was especially evident last year, when she listed, on her website, all the things that were bad about the ACA. They were all party line talking points. It occurred again when she gave the Republican response to the State of the Union address. The person she claimed was so harmed by "Obamacare" turned out to refuse to even look at healthcare plans available on the Washington Exchange, even though she admitted her friend got a great plan from there.

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namvet60 5 months, 2 weeks ago

For this President to supposedly be a Constitutional Lawyer or Professor one would wonder what University or College he graduated from? This President has reneged on every campaign speech from 2008 and 2011 that he swore on a bible during his swearing in to be President of the United States. The uninformed still think that he is doing a great job.

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gsmcquaarrie 5 months, 2 weeks ago

A lawsuit against the President? That is absolutely a political ploy. I am increasingly disappointed in Cathy McMorris-Rogers. Like most of her party, she demonstrates no willingness to compromise, or legislate effectively or even to propose meaningful solutions to the myriad problems that face the country. She is so steeped in right wing dogma she cannot comprehend that she may be absolutely wrong!

She will win by a landslide, however, and that is sad.

G. S. McQuarrie

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chicoli 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Hi Galen, good to hear from you. Cathy is good at cliches and stale slogans, typical GOP stuff.

Paco

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adamrussell 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Where is the lawsuit? If the gop really thought the lawsuit was valid they would file it asap. But they arent really interested in bringing Obama to court. They know the case is a loser. They just want to play it out as long as they can. Watch and see.

If the case got to an actual judge before the elections and he threw it out then that would be VERY bad for republicans. They cant risk that.

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chicoli 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Every body knows Obama graduated from Columbia University and from Harvard Law School. He was a Law professor of Constitutional Law at the Chicago University School of Law.

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namvet60 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Everybody knows everything about this President but when will the hard evidence hit the papers for visual proof? Such as school records?

Words are easy to put in print but when it comes to hard evidence it is very evasive.

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