WALLA WALLA, Wash. - Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers grew up in Kettle Falls, Washington where her family owned an orchard. Growing up, Rodgers said she never imagined she would be a congresswoman, but she now represents the 5th District of Washington state. She is visiting Eastern Washington this week and sat down with KAPP-KVEW in her Walla Walla office to talk about some of the top issues facing the country and the world today, including immigration, healthcare reform, and the current state of world affairs.
Rodgers is a mother of three children, one who has inspired her recent legislation for people with disabilities. Her son, Cole Rodgers, has Down Syndrome.
“Brian and I were told, ‘don't put any assets in his name because it may jeopardize his benefits,’ said Rodgers. “That's the wrong message to be sending to parents.”
She has introduced legislation called ABLE 2.0, a bill that that aims to help people with disabilities save money with tax-free savings accounts. Rodgers said it “would open up the opportunity for individuals to work, and “starts addressing some of those barriers that individuals have.”
In addition to ABLE 2.0, Rodgers is behind the USA Act, which she said focuses on ending funding to unauthorized programs in the United States.
Though Rodgers is vocal about supporting her legislation, she also expressed concern on immigration, calling for more security on the borders and visa reform.
“In some areas, finishing a wall that was already started, but also better technology and security at the border,” said Rodgers.
But immigration is not the only issue that she said requires change. She said healthcare in the United States is in need of improving, though agrees with some Obamacare provisions.
“One of the areas that is very important to me personally is that we protect those with pre-existing conditions.”
The congresswoman voiced concern on issues close to home, but also spoke on matters farther away, saying
“Whether it's Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, ISIS…there is a lot going on around the world.”
After a chemical attack killed Syrian civilians, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered a military strike on the country. Rodgers said she supported President Trump’s actions in sending a message, but said, “I also believe that for a president to go further, the administration needs to be consulting with Congress.”
Rodgers will be hosting events throughout Eastern Washington for the entire week before heading back to Washington, D.C. this upcoming weekend.
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