“It’s been the honor and privilege of my life to represent the people of Eastern Washington in Congress,” Representative McMorris Rodgers wrote in a statement announcing her decision. “They inspire me every day. They are part of the strength and soul of America — the greatest experiment in self-governance the world has ever known. After much prayer and reflection, I’ve decided the time has come to serve them in new ways. I will not be running for re-election to the People’s House.”
McMorris Rodgers was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2004 and assumed office on January 3, 2005. She is the current Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and former Chair of the House Republican Conference. Prior to serving in Congress, McMorris Rodgers was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives for the 7th Legislative District, where she served from 1994 to 2005.
“This is a tremendous loss for the institution,” U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson posted to X regarding Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ announcement. “Chairwoman McMorris Rodgers has faithfully served eastern Washington and the American people for over two decades. She has had a remarkable career and is one of the most respected leaders in Congress.
She currently serves on the following House caucuses:
- Military Family Caucus, Co-Chair
- Rural Health Caucus, Co-Chair
- Neuroscience Caucus, Co-Chair
- Conservative Climate Caucus
- Congressional Western Caucus
“Cathy is a person of high principle and deep faith, who has been a close friend and confidant of mine and so many others. In October, I was greatly honored to have her nominate me for Speaker of the House. We are all saddened by her retirement, but certainly happy for the next chapter in her life. May God continue to bless Cathy and her family for their years of faithful service and sacrifice.”
Rep. McMorris Rodgers is one of only two Republicans in the Washington State Congressional Delegation, the other being Representative Dan Newhouse (WA-04). The Fifth Congressional District borders Idaho encompasses the entirety of Eastern Washington from Canada to Oregon, is home to Spokane and is considered a safe Republican seat. In the 2022 election, McMorris Rodgers won by 19.2 points (59.5-40.3) against Democrat Natasha Hill.
Washington State Democratic Chair, Shasti Conrad, in a statement released Thursday sees an opportunity to flip the Fifth District blue.
“At every turn, Cathy has turned her back on the needs of working people, reproductive rights, and refused to protect clean air, clean water, and a sustainable climate,” said Washington State Democratic Chair Shasti Conrad. “I look forward to working with the people of the 5th Congressional District to elect someone who shares their values of democratic principles and personal freedoms. Cathy was the lone Washington State Republican to vote against the impeachment of former President Trump for his incitement of insurrection and is a strong ally of current MAGA Speaker of the House Mike Johnson. Her brand of legislative chaos will not be missed in our state’s Congressional delegation.”
Below is a copy of Representative McMorris Rodgers’ announcement in its entirety:
“It’s been the honor and privilege of my life to represent the people of Eastern Washington in Congress. They inspire me every day. They are part of the strength and soul of America — the greatest experiment in self-governance the world has ever known. After much prayer and reflection, I’ve decided the time has come to serve them in new ways. I will not be running for re-election to the People’s House.
“For years now, my team and I have lived and worked by our values of having fun while we SERVE — to Seek excellence, that Everybody matters, to Responsibly own it, practice Vigilant integrity, and Embrace change. I’m proud of how it’s helped us be more effective and deliver results to my district and the hardworking people of this country. There is no doubt I’ve had the best staff on my team. They are smart, strategic, and committed to building trust.
“I would testify today that the greatest blessing in my life has been marrying Brian and becoming a wife and mom — my most cherished titles. Brian is my wise and faithful counselor, the one to wipe the tears from my eyes and send me back into the arena. Together, we have been blessed with three beautiful, beloved children. Cole was with me on the House floor when we passed the ABLE Act, which marked a new chapter of opportunity and independence for people living with a disability. Grace and Brynn joined me at countless parades, election night parties, trips to the office, and committee hearings. I love to see their drawings and notes hanging on my office walls. Brian, Cole, Grace, and Brynn give me strength and courage to give it my best every day.
“My family has been in my corner from the start. My brother quit his job to run my first campaign. My dad covered every road in Eastern Washington with campaign signs. My mom has been my greatest encourager and fiercest defender. I couldn’t have served so well without their love, support, and patience.
“Especially as Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I’ve seen the best of Eastern Washington and the United States of America. We will spend this year honoring the Committee’s rich history — plowing the hard ground necessary to legislate on solutions to make people’s lives better and ensure America wins the future.
“Every day, my number one priority is to pray. I pray that God’s purpose over my life will be more deeply rooted in my heart and in gratitude for the remarkable colleagues and people He has brought into my life. No matter the division, we must unite in prayer. And as we do, we will bring hope and healing to broken lives, broken families, and broken systems failing broken people. Together, may we always be guided by God’s abundant grace and wisdom to keep the promise of America alive.
“The best is yet to come.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Added statement by Washington State Democratic Chair Shasti Conrad at 6:05 p.m., February 8, 2024.