Recognition of IWF's Congressional Champions

as delivered by

The Honorable Cathy McMorris Rodgers

at the

Independent Women's Forum 2016 Annual Awards Dinner

November 30, 2016


Sabrina Schaeffer:

From one form of leadership to the next, we often hear that there are not enough female lawmakers, but I often think that we don't talk enough about all of the women who have run for office and who are making a difference.  So tonight it's my pleasure to introduce you to one of these exceptional women, House Republican Conference Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the fourth highest-ranking Republican in the House and also the recipient of IWF's 2014 Women of Valor Award. 

Cathy has represented Eastern Washington's fifth congressional district since 2004 and is well-known for her conservative principles and her willingness to work across the aisle.  She serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee, she is a strong advocate for members of the military and their families, and she has been focused on talking to more women about limited government for which we are greatly appreciative.  Cathy has been a partner with IWF for many years now, but this past year she made it a priority to work with us to make sure our Working for Women Report and messages were being heard by her colleagues.  Through briefings, events, and statements, Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers has been a leader and a strong ally.  Tonight Cathy is here to help us recognize all the other congressional champions who have worked with IWF this year to ensure our sensible policy ideas are heard, so thank you.


Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers:

Good evening, everyone.  What a moment to be in Washington D.C.  And tonight we celebrate many elections.  Reelecting our majorities in the House and the Senate, electing Donald Trump as our next president, and as of today we can celebrate Nancy Pelosi's reelection as Minority Leader, too. 

It's great to be here this evening with so many friends and colleagues who share a commitment to liberty and economic opportunity.  And I want to thank IWF for all of the great work that you do, and the leadership of Heather and Sabrina.  And Sabrina, especially, I have enjoyed the partnership that we have had.  I consider you a great spokesman, a great partner, and a thoughtful leader in the conservative movement.  So thank you for all that you do. 

IWF has been laying the foundation for women to be strong leaders by encouraging them, advocating, and redefining that all issues are women's issues.  IWF is leading the way by increasing the number of women all across this country who value free markets and personal liberty.  You've been on the front lines of this advocation for many years and right now we need it more than ever. 

The opportunity that we've been entrusted with is really humbling, but is also a great moment for us and we must lead.  Now isn't the time to be taking victory laps or patting ourselves on the back.  It's the time to turn this victory into real progress for people all across this country.  And it's a time to be working with organizations like the Independent Women's Forum to think big, re-imagine our government, and get the people's voice back to the center of it.  We need your help on tax reform.  We need your help on working family’s policies.  And we need your help to repeal and replace Obamacare. 

You know as we inch closer to the hundredth anniversary of the women's right to vote, I think it's especially important this evening with this group of people to recognize the values and qualities that women naturally bring to leadership positions. 

According to many surveys, people seek leaders who are good listeners, honest, care about others and are problem-solvers, the very qualities that are often associated with women.  And there's no better example of that than our honoree tonight, Carly Fiorina. 

When I think of Carly, I think of the word fearless.  She's not afraid to go big.  Running for the U.S. Senate in the big, blue State of California, or running for president in one of the most difficult, toughest election cycles our nation has ever seen.  Her strength, her courage, her grace under fire is a model of leadership.  That's what we want in more women leaders and quite frankly all leaders.  

So I don't know about you but I am quite excited, I am inspired after this election and the election results.  I'm excited about the work that we're going to be doing and I'm excited to see so many women leading the way.  Kellyanne Conway with the distinction now of the first woman to successfully run a presidential campaign, Betsy DeVos, our next Education Secretary, has already been highlighted – Elaine Chao, our next Transportation Secretary and Governor Nikki Haley, who is going to be an outstanding ambassador to the United Nations.  I'm honored to work with these women and so many who are here tonight who have broken down the barriers and are trailblazers in their own right. 

They are reflecting of a changing workforce in America today, a growing economic force.  And it only highlights the need that we have to update our laws, our labor and tax laws, to reflect the workforce of the 21st century.  And that's why the work of IWF, through their Working for Women Report, is so important. 

The ideas and the findings related to flexible work schedules and child-care costs and family leave options and the cost of healthcare is so important.  We have a real opportunity to make a difference and potentially see many of these policies become a reality with our unified Republican government that is ready to roll up its sleeves and get to work. 

We need to get ready with a bold agenda that is going to make a difference in people's lives, address the biggest challenges of our time, and most importantly keep the people at the center of this government. 

So thank you, again, IWF, for all that you do and being an important partner. 

Tonight I'm honored to recognize the following members a IWF's Congressional Champions. 

So I'll read the list of names and I'll ask you to stand as I read your names and then we'll maybe applaud at the end, because it's a long list. 

Representative Luke Messer from Indiana, Representative Andy Barr from Kentucky, Representative Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee, Representative Susan Brooks from Indiana, Representative Ken Buck from Colorado, Representative Mike Coffman from Colorado, Representative Barbara Comstock from Virginia, Representative Carlos Curbelo from Florida, Representative Renee Ellmers from North Carolina, Representative Bill Flores from Texas, Representative Glen Jenkins from Kansas, Representative Mia Love from Utah, Representative Martha McSally from Arizona – first female fighter pilot – Representative Kristi Noem from South Dakota, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida, Representative Elise Stefanik from New York – youngest women ever elected to congress – Representative Ann Wagner, Representative Jackie Walorski from Indiana, Representative Mimi Walters from California, and Senator Deb Fischer from the great State of Nebraska. 

Congratulations to our Congressional Champions, and thanks again IWF.  May God bless you and your great work and may God continue to bless the United States of America.  Thank you.