Since March is “Women’s History Month,” it is only fitting that my VIP for this week is Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington). She is the first woman in history to be elected chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. According to Virginia Allen at The Daily Signal, Rodgers is in a good position to push “back on the far left’s harmful climate policies and fighting to protect American jobs” because she is the ranking Republican on the committee.
In a recent interview with Allen, Rodgers discussed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for reopening schools. She also “breaks down what you need to know about the fight to defend the Hyde Amendment.”
Rodgers stated that the House Energy and Commerce Committee was established in 1795 and “has a rich history of tackling some of the biggest challenges facing the country.” She expects that the issues facing the committee at the present time will “define our future” and determine “whether or not America leads and wins the future.” She declared that the committee will be “at the forefront of crushing the virus, rebuilding our economy, ensuring that American leadership is at the forefront and that we continue to be the best place in the world to innovate, to save lives, to lift people out of poverty.”
According to Rodgers, the committee “has a long history of doing the hard work, of legislating” with Democrats and Republicans working together to get good results. However, Speaker of the House “seems to be wanting to do it alone.” This means that “top-down, Washington D.C.-knows-best regulations” and becoming “more vulnerable to China.” “It’s a threat to our national and energy security, our grid reliability, energy affordability, our global competitive edge.”
There is good news. Rodgers said that the committee will “continue to highlight why American energy independence is so important, why policies like canceling the Keystone [XL] Pipeline on day one of the Biden administration is so damaging … to individuals and families in the middle of a pandemic.”
After more discussion about energy, Allen and Rodgers moved to the Hyde Amendment, and Rodgers explained what it is and what it is supposed to do. “The Hyde Amendment is named after Congressman Henry Hyde, who was the champion of this language, this law that says no taxpayer funding will be put toward abortion. So, it prohibits the taxpayer funding of abortion.”
Rodgers continued by explaining that the Hyde Amendment has “been the law of the land for over 40 years now in the United States of America. And the large, large majority of Americans do not want to have taxpayer-funded abortions.” Even President Biden was a strong supporter of the Hyde Amendment before he became President.
The Hyde Amendment is in danger now. Rodgers explained that Congress “passed four COVID relief packages to date. All of them included the Hyde protections.” However, the Democrats “decided not to include” the Hyde protections in the $1.9 trillion package. This “means that taxpayer funding [the funds in this COVID-19 package] could be used for funding of abortions.” Republicans are, of course, “making the case that this is not an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars.” She also pointed out that the Hyde Amendment “has long enjoyed strong bipartisan support.”
Science and technology provide a way to “look into the womb” and “watch day by day the development of a life, of a baby.” She added, “doctors can administer life-saving treatment prenatally because of research and therapy. It just reaffirms the miracle of life. So we need to be as a country continuing to celebrate life and all that it means at every stage from conception to death.” Rodgers added that she is concerned that Democrats will push to repeal the Hyde Amendment. All Americans should be concerned with the Democrats push to move the United States far to the left.