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Memos & Research


Dec 9, 2016



McMorris Rodgers Voted To Undermine Public Lands And Wildlife Management Protections. In February 2016, McMorris Rodgers voted for legislation that would “expand access to hunting and fishing areas on public lands, extend protections for the use of lead bullets in hunting and strip wolves of federal protections in four states … Supporters said the bill would protect and expand the rights of sportsmen to hunt, fish and enjoy other recreation on public lands … Opponents said the bill would roll back important protections for wolves and other wildlife and undermine international efforts to combat ivory trafficking … The bill waives crucial environmental reviews for decisions affecting hundreds of millions of acres of federal lands, diverts funding meant for conservation and threatens to increase the amount of lead poisoning of birds and other wildlife, [LCV president Gene] Karpinski said.” The bill passed 242-161.  [Associated Press, 2/26/16; H.R.2406, Vote 101, 2/26/16]

McMorris Rodgers: Changes Are Needed To Limit Funding For Federal Land Acquisitions. According to the Spokesman Review, “The lights went out last week for a program that has supported local and national parks for 50 years, but maybe not for good. Legal authority for money to flow into the Land and Water Conservation Fund expired Wednesday as the federal fiscal year ended without a key decision by Congress. New deposits could resume later this fall if lawmakers decide how to divide the money from federal oil and gas royalties. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said changes are needed to limit funding for federal land acquisitions.” [Spokesman Review, 10/4/15]

McMorris Rodgers: “As We Look To Reauthorization, We Must Bring The LWCF Into The 21st Century. I Want To Look At Ways To Strengthen Our State And Local Parks And Limit The Practice Of Bureaucrats In (Division Of Conservation Services) Buying Up Large Swaths Of Farmland And Rangeland.” According to the Spokesman Review, “Federal land acquisitions are often poorly managed and inaccessible to the public, McMorris Rodgers said recently in a statement. If changes are made, it’s likely the fund could be back soon, she added. ‘As we look to reauthorization, we must bring the LWCF into the 21st Century,’ the Spokane Republican said. ‘I want to look at ways to strengthen our state and local parks and limit the practice of bureaucrats in (Division of Conservation Services) buying up large swaths of farmland and rangeland.’” [Spokesman Review, 10/4/15]

McMorris Rodgers Voted To Make It More Difficult For The President To Protect Federal Lands Through The Antiquities Act. In July 2015, the Review-Journal reported, “The House voted 222-206 on Wednesday for an amendment by Rep. Cresent Hardy, R-Nev., to forbid federal money from being spent on presidential proclamations creating monuments in counties in California, Wyoming, Utah, Oregon, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado as well as Nevada. The Hardy provision was attached as a rider onto an appropriations bill for the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency.” The amendment passed 222-206.  [H.R.2822, Vote 409, 7/8/15; Las Vegas Review-Journal7/8/15]

McMorris Rodgers Voted To “Curtail Presidential Powers To Designate National Monuments,” Saying That She Didn’t Want Private Land To Be Taken By The Federal Government; The Congressional Research Service Stated That “No National Monument Designation Has Ever Converted Private Property Into Federal Property.” In March 2014, the Seattle Times reported, “The U.S. House Wednesday passed a bill to curtail presidential powers to designate national monuments, a legislation conservation groups condemned as shortsighted and which they urged the Senate to reject … The House bill would require public input into monument designations. Presidents also would be limited to one national monument designation per state per four-year term. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, said in a statement her voted for the measure to limit ‘unwarranted use’ of public lands and to ‘ensure that privately owned land will no longer come under the threat of being federally allocated.’ No national monument designation has ever converted private property into federal property, according to the Congressional Research Service. In some cases, non-federal lands can fall within outer boundaries of national monuments, although the ownership remains unchanged.”  [Seattle Times3/27/14]

McMorris Rodgers Voted To Allow The Selling Off Or Transfer Or Federal Lands. In July 2015, McMorris Rodgers voted against legislation that “would have prohibited the department from using funding in violation of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 … While the act allows for sale or transfer of federal lands on a case-by-case basis, it states that the vast majority of land shall remain under federal ownership.” The amendment failed 192-237.  [H.R.2822, Vote 403, 7/8/15; Independent Record7/8/15]

McMorris Rodgers Helped Introduce Bill That Would Sell Off More Than 3 Million Acres Of Public Lands To Private Interests. In March 2011, McMorris Rodgers signed on as an original cosponsor of legislation that would “order the Interior Department to sell 3.3 million acres in the West … ‘While there are national treasures worthy of federal protection, there are lands that should be returned to private ownership, [lead sponsor Rep. Jason] Chaffetz said in introducing his legislation earlier this year. ‘If the land serves no public purpose and is ‘identified for disposal,’ let’s return it to private ownership.’ Chaffetz said the sale would equate to barely 1 percent of Bureau of Land Management area and less then a half a percent of all federal lands. In addition to Utah, the bill would affect public lands in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington … Critics note Chaffetz’s measure comes in stark contrast to legislation by several of his Republican colleagues to expand wilderness protection in the West.”  [H.R.1126, 3/16/11Salt Lake Tribune10/25/11]

McMorris Rodgers Voted for Spending Plan That Eliminated or Cut Conservation Programs. In February 2011, McMorris Rodgers voted for the Republican Continuing Resolution.  Among programs that face substantial budget cuts or total elimination in HR 1, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 19, are the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, farm bill conservation programs, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, State and Tribal Wildlife Grants and the Clean Water Act. [HR 1, Vote 147 , 2/19/11; Great Falls Tribune3/31/11]

  • North American Wetlands Conservation Fund Eliminated. HR1 zeros out the appropriation for NAWCA, which will mean the loss of thousands of acres of wetland that will not be conserved or restored. [Great Falls Tribune3/31/11]
  • Land and Water Conservation Fund Cut 90%. The federal Land and Water Conservation Fund totaled $450 million but the proposed 2011 continuing budget bill approved recently by the House of Representatives, cuts the fund by 90 percent to $59 million, the lowest in its 45-year history. [Observer Tribune3/04/11]


2010: McMorris Rodgers Said She Continued To Support The Expansion Of Oil Drilling In The Pacific Ocean. According to the Spokesman Review, “Washington’s two U.S. senators have called for a ban on oil drilling in the Pacific Ocean off the Western United States, but U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said she continues to support its expansion.” [Spokesman Review, 6/11/10]

McMorris Rodgers: Offshore Drilling Shouldn’t Stop Just Because Of Deepwater Horizon Blowout, Drilling Should Be Expanded In Coastal Waters According to the Spokesman Review, “McMorris Rodgers called the Deepwater Horizon blowout and its aftermath ‘the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history’ and said the responsible parties must be held accountable. But offshore drilling shouldn’t stop, she argues, and should be expanded in coastal waters.” [Spokesman Review, 6/11/10]

McMorris Rodgers: “Knowing That America Has Growing Energy Needs, Any Effort To Close Down Off-Shore Energy Production Would Have A Devastating Impact On Our Economy, Jobs And Our Efforts To Reduce Our Dependence On Foreign Oil.” According to the Spokesman Review, “‘We need to learn the lessons from the BP accident and then apply those lessons to the entire industry,’ she said in a statement this week. ‘Knowing that America has growing energy needs, any effort to close down off-shore energy production would have a devastating impact on our economy, jobs and our efforts to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.’” [Spokesman Review, 6/11/10]


McMorris Rodgers Voted Against Protecting The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge From Drilling. In February 2016, McMorris Rodgers voted against a bill that would designate the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as Wilderness. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jared Huffman, said, “The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska is one of those uniquely American places, and we must do our due diligence to protect this one of a kind national treasure from the dangerous effects of drilling. By designating this area as wilderness, we can finally recognize the intrinsic value that this land holds.” The amendment was defeated 176-227.  [H.R.2406, Vote 99, 2/26/16; Huffington Post, 4/25/16]

McMorris Rodgers Voted To Continue Subsidies For Big Oil. In July 2015, McMorris Rodgers voted to prevent raising royalty rates on oil and gas that was produced on federal public lands. The amendment passed 231-198.  [H.R.2822, Vote 408, 7/8/15]

McMorris Rodgers Voted To Allow Expanded Drilling On Public Lands. In September 2014, McMorris Rodgers voted for an energy bill which included a “litany of GOP favorites.” Congressional Western Caucus co-chair Cynthia Lummis said, “On private lands the American energy industry continues to boom, but President Obama’s policies are keeping public lands under lock and key and stifling the high-paying jobs American families could be benefitting from while working on these lands. The bills included in this package would break that lock and free up production and development on federal lands throughout the west, offering an economic boost at a time when we could use it most.  And if we free up these lands for responsible energy development then the vast untapped resources we are sitting on could bring down energy prices for all Americans.”  [H.R.2, Vote 515, 9/18/14; Politico9/18/14; Congressional Western Caucus Press Release, 9/18/14]

2012: McMorris Rodgers Voted To Open The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) For Oil And Gas Exploration. In February 2012, McMorris Rodgers voted for a bill which according to Congressional Quarterly, would have “open[ed] up a portion of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration and production and expand[ed] lease sales to include areas off the coast of southern California, the eastern and central Gulf of Mexico and Virginia coastline and near Bristol Bay, Alaska. The bill also would [have] provide[d] for approval of the 1,700-mile Canadian tar sands Keystone XL pipeline and shift[ed] permitting authority for the project from the State Department to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.” The House passed the bill by a vote of 237 to 187. No subsequent action was taken. [House Vote 71, 2/16/12; Congressional Actions, 1/3/13; Congressional Quarterly, 2/16/12]

2011: McMorris Rodgers Voted To Expand The Area Available For Outer Continental Shelf Oil And Natural Gas Drilling. In May 2011, McMorris Rodgers voted for a bill that would have, according to Congressional Quarterly, “require[d] the Interior Department to expand the area of the outer continental shelf that is available for oil and natural gas drilling, and set a national goal for domestic oil and gas production in its five-year leasing plan.” The vote was on passage of the bill; the House passed the bill by a vote of 243 to 179. The Senate took no substantive action. [House Vote 320, 5/12/11; Congressional Quarterly, 5/12/11; Congressional Actions, H.R. 1231]

2011: McMorris Rodgers Voted To Require The Interior Department To Expedite Offshore Drilling Permit Requests By Acting On Them Within 60 Days Of Application. In May 2011, McMorris Rodgers voted for legislation that according to Congressional Quarterly, would have “modif[ied] the permitting process for lessees in the Gulf of Mexico seeking to initiate exploratory drilling. It would provide the Interior Department 30 days to approve such permits, with the option of extending reviews by two 15-day periods. If the department d[id] not issue a ruling on an application within 60 days, it would be deemed approved. The measure also would limit and expedite the process for filing a civil action in response to an approved drilling permit.” The House agreed to bill by a vote of 263 to 163. The legislation was received in the Senate and no further action was taken. [House Vote 309, 5/11/11; Congressional Quarterly, 5/11/11; Congressional Actions, H.R. 1229]


Cathy McMorris Rodgers Has Taken $357,340 In Campaign Contributions From The Oil And Gas Industry Over Her Career. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Cathy McMorris Rodgers has taken $357,340 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry over her career. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 12/8/16]

Cathy McMorris Rodgers “Voted Against Fracking Protections On Federal Land… While Increasing Funding For Fossil Fuels.” According to Grist, “Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina both didn’t take a single vote in 2015 that LCV considered pro-environment. They voted against fracking protections on federal land, to cut funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency while increasing funding for fossil fuels, to block the Clean Power Plan, and to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.” [Grist, 8/15/16]



McMorris Rodgers Was “Noncommittal” About Climate Change’s Role In “Devastating Wildfires,” Opting Instead To Shift Focus To “Forest Management.” In December 2016, the Spokesman-Review reported, “When Gov. Jay Inslee visited Spokane and declared a widespread state of emergency on Tuesday, he said citizens and lawmakers must ‘attack climate change itself’ in order to prevent devastating wildfires. But Eastern Washington’s congressional representative took a different tack on Wednesday, saying she wants to focus on forest management rather than human-caused climate change and the unusually hot and dry summers of recent years. During a news conference at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, where local fire departments have established a joint command center, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was noncommittal when asked about Inslee’s comments. ‘I think the policy focus needs to be on healthy forests. We need to be looking at better forest management,’ she said. ‘Clearly, we have a lot of trees that are dead, diseased, bug-infested, and that needs to be addressed.’”  [Spokesman-Review12/8/16]

  • Increased Carbon Pollution Will Lead To Warmer Temperatures, More Extreme Weather Events, And Increased Threats To Human Health. According to the EPA, “Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere will continue to increase unless the billions of tons of our annual emissions decrease substantially. Increased concentrations are expected to: increase Earth’s average temperature … reduce ice and snow cover, as well as permafrost … increase the frequency, intensity, and/or duration of extreme events; shift ecosystem characteristics; [and] increase threats to human health.”  [EPA, Future Climate Change]
  •  NASA: “A Hotter Earth Resulting From Global Warming Will Lead To More Frequent And Larger” Wildfires. According to NASA, “Thousands of wildfires large and small are underway at any given time across the globe. Beyond the obvious immediate health effects, this ‘biomass’ burning is part of the equation for global warming. In northern latitudes, wildfires actually are a symptom of the Earth’s warming. ‘We already see the initial signs of climate change, and fires are part of it,’ said Dr. Amber Soja, a biomass burning expert at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) in Hampton, Va. And research suggests that a hotter Earth resulting from global warming will lead to more frequent and larger fires.”  [NASA, accessed 12/8/16]
  • Man-Made Climate Change Means “Widespread Tree Mortality,” More Wildfires, And Increases In Drought That Cause Earlier Spring Snowmelt. According to the 2014 National Climate Assessment, “Compared to relatively uniform regional temperature increases, precipitation trends vary considerably across the region, with portions experiencing decreases and others experiencing increases. There is mounting evidence that the combination of human-caused temperature increases and recent drought has influenced widespread tree mortality, increased fire occurrence and area burned, and forest insect outbreaks. Human-caused temperature increases and drought have also caused earlier spring snowmelt and shifted runoff to earlier in the year.”  [U.S. National Climate Assessment 2014, Southwest]

McMorris Rodgers: “Still Learning” About Climate Change, It’s Important To Be “Good Stewards” Of Natural Resources Like Clean Air And Water. According to the Lewiston Morning Tribune, “Virginia Lohr, a member of the Palouse region’s Citizens’ Climate Lobby, said climate change is happening faster than scientists predicted and is threatening national security. ‘It’s clear that regulations that we have are not doing what needs to be done,’ Lohr said. ‘The state of Washington’s done a lot but … we can’t do it without the whole country and without the whole world. We need our representatives at a level higher than the state to be involved.’ McMorris Rodgers said she is ‘still learning’ and thinks it’s important to be ‘good stewards’ of natural resources like clean air and water.” [Lewiston Morning Tribune, 5/4/16]

McMorris Rodgers: For His Climate Change Advocacy, Al Gore “Deserves An ‘F’ In Science’ And An ‘A’ In Creative Writing.”Responding to former vice president Al Gore’s “climate advocacy, McMorris Rodgers declared: ‘We believe Al Gore deserves an ‘F’ in science and an ‘A’ in creative writing.’”  [Seattle Post-Intelligencer1/30/15]


2014: McMorris Rodgers Voted To Block Funding For Several Climate Change-Related Science And Development Reports, Including The National Climate Assessment And The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report. In July 2014, McMorris Rodgers voted for an amendment to the FY 2015 Energy Department and Water Development Appropriations bill that, according to the Congressional Record, stated that “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to design, implement, administer, or carry out the United States Global Climate Research Program National Climate Assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report, the United Nation’s [sic] Agenda 21 sustainable development plan, the May 2013 Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order 12866, or the July 2014 Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations’ pathways to deep decarbonization report.” The House agreed to the amendment by a vote of 229 to 188, and later passed the underlying bill. As of August 2014, the Senate has not taken any substantive action on the House-passed bill. [House Vote 397, 7/10/14; Congressional Record, 7/10/14; Congressional Actions, H.R. 4923]

  • The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report Was A “Comprehensive Assessment Of Scientific Knowledge On Climate Change.” According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s website, “One of the main IPCC activities is the preparation of comprehensive Assessment Reports about the state of scientific, technical and socio-economic knowledge on climate change, its causes, potential impacts and response strategies. […] The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) is being released in four parts between September 2013 and November 2014. It will be the most comprehensive assessment of scientific knowledge on climate change since 2007 when Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) was released.” [IPCC Website, Viewed 8/11/14

2014: McMorris Rodgers Voted To Block The Department Of Defense From Assessing Or Reporting On Climate Change. In May 2014, McMorris Rodgers voted for an amendment to the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization bill that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would bar the use of funds in the bill to conduct climate change assessments and reports.” The House agreed to the amendment by a vote of 231 to 192. The House subsequently passed the underlying bill; however, the Senate has taken no substantive action on the House-passed bill as of late June, 2014. [House Vote 231, 5/22/14; Congressional Quarterly, 5/22/14; Congressional Actions, H.R. 4435]

2012: McMorris Rodgers Voted To Defund The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Climate Change Education Partnership Program. In May 2012, McMorris Rodgers voted for an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would [have] bar[red] the use of funds in the bill to carry out the National Science Foundation’s Climate Change Education Partnership program.” The amendment was to a bill that funded science-related programs and the Departments of Commerce and Justice for fiscal year 2013; the House adopted the amendment by a vote of 238 to 188. The House later passed the underlying bill, but the Senate took no substantive action on it. [House Vote 241, 5/9/12; Congressional Actions, H.R. 5326; Congressional Quarterly, 5/9/12; CRS Summary of H.R. 5326, 5/10/12]

2011: McMorris Rodgers Voted To Prohibit The Environmental Protection Agency And The States From Addressing Climate Change By Regulating Greenhouse Gases. In April 2011, McMorris Rodgers voted for a bill that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would [have] prohibit[ed] the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases in any effort to address climate change. It would [have] amend[ed] the Clean Air Act to strike specific elements from the definition of ‘air pollutant,’ unless regulation of those chemicals is not used in an attempt to address climate change. It also would [have] clarif[ied] that the bill does not limit the authority of a state to regulate the emission of a greenhouse gas, unless the regulation attempts to address climate change.” The vote was on passage of the bill; the House passed it by a vote of 255 to 172. The bill was subsequently sent to the Senate, which took no substantive action on the measure. [House Vote 249, 4/7/11; Congressional Quarterly, 4/7/11; Congressional Actions, H.R. 910]

2011: McMorris Rodgers Voted To Prevent The Establishment Of A National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration Climate Service. In February 2011, McMorris Rodgers voted for an amendment that would have, according to Congressional Quarterly, “bar[red] the use of funds made available in the bill to establish a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Service, as described in a published draft framework.” The underlying bill pertained to continuing appropriations for FY 2011. The vote was on adopting the amendment; the House adopted the amendment by a vote of 233 to 187. The House passed the underlying bill and the Senate amended the bill, but it was not taken up by the House again. [House Vote 127, 2/19/11; Congressional Quarterly, 2/19/11; Congressional Actions, H.R. 1]


Cathy McMorris Rodgers Has Been A Congresswoman In The U.S. House Of Representatives Since January 2005. According to Cathy McMorris Rodgers LinkedIn, Cathy McMorris Rodgers has been a Congresswoman in the U.S. House of Representatives since January 2005. [Cathy McMorris Rodgers LinkedIn, accessed 12/1/16]

  • McMorris Rodgers Served As Chairwoman Of The National Task Force On Improving The National Environmental Policy Act. According to, “In 2004, McMorris Rodgers was elected as U.S. Representative for Washington’s 5th Congressional district. She quickly rose in the ranks during her first two terms in office, joining the Republican Study Committee—a caucus of conservative House Representatives—serving as chairwoman of the National Task Force on Improving the National Environmental Policy Act, becoming the Republican co-chairwoman of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues and co-founding the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus.” [, accessed 12/1/16]
  • During McMorris Rodgers’s Third Term, She Was Elected To Serve As Vice Chair Of The House Republican Conference. According to, “During McMorris Rodgers’s third term, she was elected to serve as vice chair of the House Republican Conference. The position made her the highest-ranking Republican woman on Capitol Hill. McMorris Rodgers is also one of only eight women to have given birth while serving in Congress, and the only one who has done it twice.” [, accessed 12/1/16]
  • McMorris Rodgers “Championed Job-Creating Economic Policies And Expressed Support For Repealing The Affordable Care Act” In Her Fourth Term As Congresswoman. According to, “In her fourth term—second as the vice chairman of the Republican Conference—McMorris Rodgers championed job-creating economic policies and expressed support for repealing the Affordable Care Act. Her top political priorities include women’s issues and other social issues, as well as international and economic issues.” [, accessed 12/1/16]

January 1994-January 2004: Cathy McMorris Rodgers Was A Representative In The Washington State House Of Representatives. According to Cathy McMorris Rodgers LinkedIn, Cathy McMorris Rodgers was a Representative in the Washington State House of Representatives from January 1994 to January 2004. [Cathy McMorris Rodgers LinkedIn, accessed 12/1/16]

January 2002-January 2003: Cathy McMorris Rodgers Was The House Republican Leader In The Washington State House Of Representatives. According to Cathy McMorris Rodgers LinkedIn, Cathy McMorris Rodgers was the House Republican Leader in the Washington State House of Representatives from January 2002 to January 2003. [Cathy McMorris Rodgers LinkedIn, accessed 12/1/16]