WASHINGTON, D.C., April 17, 2014 — Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Republican Conference and the fourth ranking leader in the House, recently addressed the association’s Large Agent/Broker and CEO dinner.
During her keynote address, the Washington Republican who is the highest ranking Republican woman in Congress discussed the economy, health care and taxes and how all three are priorities and related to jobs.
“The best anti-poverty program is a job,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers to attendees. The prestigious gathering of industry leaders, carrier CEOs and some of the largest agents and brokers from around the country is held annually during the Big “I” Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. She noted that many of the people in the room were part of the solution and said, “Tonight I want to talk to you as leaders in the country, as job-creators and just express my gratitude for the roles that you play in your community.”
She pointed out that, “three out of four Americans are living paycheck to paycheck” and shared her vision for her political party and the House to grow the economy and create jobs.
The Senate has yet to consider many bills passed by the House that Rep. McMorris Rodgers supports and believes would create jobs. “We’ve passed over 150 pro-growth jobs bills,” she said. “Everything from bills on energy, job training, regulatory reform, health care, innovation and most of them are still waiting for consideration over in the Senate.”
Rep. McMorris Rodgers voted against President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), and she stressed that “one of the biggest impediments to economic growth and job creation continues to be the President’s health care law.”
“We just marked the four year anniversary of the law and yet they’re estimating that at the end of ten years, 31 million Americans will still be without health insurance,” she added. “At least six million Americans have had their health insurance plans cancelled. Premiums are doubling in some parts of the country.” In pointing out that the ACA has already undergone more than 40 different regulatory extensions and delays, she stressed that her focus is on ways to fix the many problems it has caused through legislative efforts.
During her address, Rep. McMorris Rodgers also discussed tax reform. She emphasized that the recent tax reform proposal released by House Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) was still in draft form, but noted that, “It’s important that we have a debate over tax reform in America. We need to address this too costly, too complicated tax code.”
Rep. McMorris Rodgers is well-known as a rising star in the Republican Party and was elected to the House in 2004. In addition to her leadership role in the House, Rep. McMorris Rodgers serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee which has jurisdiction over many important issues for the independent agency system, most importantly health care. Prior to being elected to Congress, she worked for her family’s business and served in the Washington State Legislature. Rep. McMorris Rodgers was the first in her family to graduate from college and went on to earn an executive MBA from the University of Washington.
“Conference Chair McMorris Rodgers continues to exhibit her unique leadership skills through her hard work on numerous issues that directly impact independent insurance agents, brokers and insurance consumers,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of external and government affairs. “We are grateful to for her advocacy for small business, particularly in the health care debate and tax reform.”
The Large Agent/Broker and CEO dinner is sponsored by the Big “I” Large Agent and Broker Roundtable, a group which advises the Big “I” Board of Directors on many important topics. The group has recently been working on issues such as agent licensing reform, terrorism risk insurance, and industry workforce recruitment.
Large agents and brokers from around the country, as well as regional and national carrier CEOs including many from Rep. McMorris Rodgers’s home state of Washington, were in attendance at the April 10 event.
Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of approximately a quarter of a million agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.