Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House, will deliver the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union address next week, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Thursday.
McMorris Rodgers currently serves as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, the fourth-ranking position in leadership. She will be the first woman to deliver the official Republican response to the State of the Union during Obama’s time in the White House.
“Through the lens of her family’s experiences, Cathy will share our vision for a better America built on a thriving middle class, guided by a fierce belief in life and liberty, and grounded in greater trust between citizens and their government,” Boehner said in a statement. “We are grateful to Cathy for lending her voice and perspective to this national occasion.”
The nationally televised speech will be the biggest moment in a nine-year House career for McMorris Rodgers, who was first elected to represent Washington State’s 5th District after a decade in the state legislature. It comes two months after she gave birth to her third child, Brynn. McMorris Rodgers has had all three of her children while serving in Congress, becoming the first woman to do so.
A biographical video released by the Speaker’s office highlighted her upbringing in Washington state and her love for eldest child, Cole, who was diagnosed at birth with Down syndrome.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) delivered the GOP response to the State of the Union in 2013.