Rep. McMorris Rodgers Tapped as E&C Ranking Member

Cathy McMorris Rodgers at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Image credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

NCTA-The Internet & Television Association Wednesday hailed the election of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) to ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

"[T]he first woman to be elected as Chair or Ranking Member in the committee’s history, Rep. McMorris Rodgers has long been a leader who recognizes the significant benefits of today’s vibrant and competitive media and communications marketplace that facilitates ongoing investment and innovation in new consumer products and services," said NCTA President Michael Powell of the election.

Current ranking member Greg Walden (R-Ore.) is retiring at the end of the current session.

"We look forward to working with her and the entire committee on America’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensuring that every American can benefit from our world class digital infrastructure," said Powell.

McMorris Rodgers was first elected to the House in 2004. She was chair of the House Republican Conference from 2012 to 2018.

She pulled no punches in what was effectively a partisan battle cry as she prepared to assume the loyal opposition post to the Democratic committee leadership.

"We are in a battle for the heart and soul of America," she said. "From blatant assaults on free speech, to Medicare-for-All, to the Green New Deal, Energy and Commerce is at the very center of the battles for freedom to beat socialism and hope to beat fear. My goal is to maximize Energy and Commerce so House Republicans win the majority and secure America’s future global leadership as the best place in the world to usher in a new era of innovation, cure diseases, and raise people’s standard of living. 

“Over the next two years, we will do the hard work of countering the Left’s lurch toward socialism and we’ll set our whole conference up for success to lead on healthcare, technology, closing the digital divide, and all-the-above energy solutions. At the top of the list is building on the Trump Administration’s work on Operation Warp Speed for the coronavirus vaccine so we end this pandemic and reopen our economy. On all fronts, our mission will be to rebuild, restore, and renew hope in the American Dream.

“I want to recognize former Chairmen Greg Walden and Fred Upton for their leadership on the Energy and Commerce Committee. They laid a strong foundation, and it’s my goal to build on that.

“I am thrilled Cathy will become Republican Leader of the Energy and Commerce Committee in the 117th Congress," said Walden. "This is a historic moment for the Energy and Commerce Committee, but most importantly, Cathy is a battle-tested leader who has proven her ability to message some of the most challenging issues of our time in a way that resonates with Americans all across the country. As Republicans fight to take back the Majority in the House of Representatives next Congress, I believe Cathy is uniquely qualified to take on this leadership role. I congratulate Cathy and her team, and I know this will be a seamless transition,” said Walden.

 “NAB congratulates Cathy McMorris Rodgers on her selection to be the Ranking Member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee in the 117th Congress," said National Association of Broadcasters President Gordon Smith. "Rep. Rodgers brings a wealth of leadership and policymaking experience to this position, and we look forward to continuing to work with her on important issues affecting the future of free and local broadcasting.”

“ACA Connects congratulates Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers on her historic election as the first woman to become the Republican Leader of the House Energy and Commerce Committee," said ACAC Chairman Patricia Jo Boyers. "This committee oversees a vast array of sectors of vital importance to our nation. We appreciate all her time and effort on many topics of impact and importance to our ACA Connects membership and look forward to further work on the issues of importance to the video and broadband industry.

“We have always respected her ability to work with everyone on the tough issues the committee must face. We have also appreciated her willingness to look out for small businesses and the rural communities that so many of our members serve," said Boyers. “Importantly, we are grateful that Rep. McMorris Rodgers – coming from a congressional district in eastern Washington state noted for its rural profile – will ensure that the rural voice of America remains front and center on so many policy decisions. "

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.