Could Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers be under consideration for a position in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration?
“I am interested in helping rethink this federal government,” Rep. McMorris Rodgers, R-5th District, told KING 5 Friday. “I'm focused on representing the people of eastern Washington, and we'll see if anything happens.”
The fourth ranking Republican in the U.S. House met with Mr. Trump at the end of last month as part of his ongoing transition meetings.
Earlier this week, the New York Times reported her name may be on the list of possible candidates for Secretary of the Interior, currently held by Washington native Sally Jewell.
“It was invitation that I was really honored to receive,” McMorris Rodgers said of her meeting with Trump. “We talked about a whole host of issues; clearly they are talking with a number of people.”
McMorris Rodgers was also named one of thirteen transition vice chairs, calling it an opportunity to share her ideas and promote people from Washington State and the Pacific Northwest.
The President-elect has 4,000 presidential appointments to make; a little more than 1,000 of them require Senate approval by a simple majority.
“Overall, I've been very encouraged by the picks from President elect Trump,” said McMorris Rodgers.
“I've seen him talking to a lot of different people from different backgrounds, he's seeking the best and the brightest. Those that he's picked have a record of success that I believe will serve us very well for cabinet positions.”
“I think it’s most important that these agencies are being responsive, and I think we need to go in there and make sure that these agencies are accountable, running effectively and staying focused on their mission,” she continued. “That’s what I think what he’s going to ask of every agency in the federal government.”
As for Trump’s first 100 days in office, McMorris Rodgers listed economy, immigration reform, an infrastructure package and healthcare as priorities.
President-elect Trump and Republican leaders in Congress continue to call for a repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act.
“There’s reforms that we need to have in place to ensure that people do have actions to quality and affordable healthcare. My goal is that every individual, every family can make those decisions themselves in eastern Washington, rather than someone in Washington DC dictating what that looks like,” said McMorris Rodgers. “That’s going to be the discussion, and I’m hopeful we can actually come together and really have a constructive conversation about how we ensure those goals, so that individuals and families are making those best decisions for themselves.”
Related: Repeal and delay strategy?
Democrats in Congress have promised a fight. President Obama even took to Facebook Friday to make a case for the law and urge people to sign up for coverage before the Dec. 15 enrollment deadline.
“(Republicans) are going to have to explain to the American people what remains after they repeal a law that so many people rely on for their healthcare,” Washington Senator Patty Murray told KING 5 in an interview this week. “They haven’t done that yet, so the ball is in their court, and I’m pretty skeptical they’ll be able to do it.”
Murray, ranking Democrat on the health committee, has also voiced concerns over Trump’s pick for health and human services secretary, Georgia Congressman Tom Price, a vocal critic of the Affordable Care Act.
“I’ve had so many families come up to me in tears worried that the healthcare that they rely on will be taken away,” said Murray. “When he comes before our committee, I will be very aggressive and diligent.”