Cathy Anne McMorris Rodgers (born May 22, 1969) is an American politician who is the U.S. Representative for Washington’s 5th congressional district, which encompasses the eastern third of the state and includes Spokane, the state’s second largest city. A Republican, McMorris Rodgers previously served in the Washington House of Representatives. From 2013 to 2019, she was the Chair of the House Republican Caucus.
McMorris Rodgers was appointed to the Washington House of Representatives in 1994. She was elected Minority Leader of that house in 2001, becoming the first woman to lead a caucus in state history. In 2004, she was elected to succeed George Nethercutt in the U.S. House of Representatives. McMorris Rodgers rose quickly through the Republican ranks – first as conference vice-chair from 2009 to 2013, and then as chair from 2013 to 2019. She eventually became the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress. She gained national attention in 2014, when she delivered the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address. In 2016, McMorris Rodgers was on President Donald Trump’s short list to become Secretary of the Interior, but the position instead went to Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke.