Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) addressed a lively crowd of about 600 at a town hall meeting held at Spokane’s Lincoln Center Wednesday evening.
Not everyone present supported the Congresswoman, however.
Cries of “Tax the rich” and “Stop the wars” peppered the nearly 2 hour long meeting as detractors – some wearing the trademark purple SEIU t-shirts – tried to drown out McMorris Rodgers.
At least one attendee was spotted in the balcony holding a small sign reading “Jobs not Cuts,” despite rules against such signs.
One man, tired of the attempts to shout down the Congresswoman, admonished the unruly detractors.
“Let her speak,” shouted Cameron King of Spokane.
King, sporting a Gadsden flag – the recognized symbol of the Tea Party – described himself as an independent supporter of the Tea Party who displayed the flag before it was made popular by the Tea Party.
McMorris Rodgers answered a wide variety of questions from supporters and opponents alike.
Expressing “faith in the American people,” she sounded familiar Republican themes – smaller government, lower taxes, and less regulation she explained was stifling the economy and hampering job growth.
One questioner asked about repealing rules regarding light bulbs.
Explaining that the House has passed a bill to overturn the light bulb ban, she said the market should decide what kinds of light bulbs consumers should buy.
Spokane city councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin asked about unfunded mandates that end up costing the city money. McMorris Rodgers answered by explaining that the best thing Washington could do is see to it that more money remains in the local economy.
The subject of the Environmental Protection Agency came up several times in the meeting.
Calling for energy independence, she explained that $27 billion goes to Venezuela in the form of oil and gas revenue, adding that American money makes up one-third of that nation’s GDP. Venezuela’s leader – strongman Hugo Chavez – is no friend of the United States.
She also cited a terminal being built in Bellingham designed to ship American coal to China.
A local restaurant owner told McMorris Rodgers his business was being “hammered” by environmental regulations.
McMorris Rodgers explained that decision making needs to be brought back to the legislative branch and taken out of the hands of unaccountable bureaucrats.
She also explained in the midst of shouts and yells, that the debt is a “drag on the economy,” and told attendees that America has the “highest tax rate in the world.”
“We must get our fiscal house in order,” McMorris Rodgers said.
One questioner identified himself as a “proud union member,” and claimed a bill being pushed by Rep. Darrell Issa was little more than an effort to bust unions.
“There is a role for unions,” she responded, adding that costs of jobs in America are often inflated due to the demands made by unions. This response caused a visceral reaction among union supporters and liberals in the audience, some of whom shouted, “tax the rich.”
But McMorris Rodgers was ready.
“We could take all the assets” of those making over $200,000, she responded, adding that “it still would not pay” the debt owed by the federal government.
“For the sake of our economy today – and for the sake of the American Dream tomorrow – we need to stop the Big Government policies that are stifling job creation and get our fiscal house in order.”
“The best thing government can do,” she said in a remark reminiscent of former President Ronald Reagan, “is get out of the way.”
If you like this article, you can follow Joe on Twitter @jnewby1956, visit his Facebook page, or click the Subscribe button to receive email updates when a new article is published.