Leading House Republican announces retirement from Congress: ‘Privilege of my life’

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., announced Thursday that she will not be seeking re-election to the House this year, saying in a post to social media that “the time has come to serve the people of Eastern Washington in new ways.”

In announcing her retirement after nearly 20 years in Congress, McMorris Rodgers said in a statement, “It’s been the honor and privilege of my life to represent the people of Eastern Washington in Congress. They inspire me every day. They are part of the strength and soul of America — the greatest experiment in self-governance the world has ever known.”

“After much prayer and reflection, I’ve decided the time has come to serve them in new ways. I will not be running for re-election to the People’s House,” she added.

Rodgers, who first won election to the House in 2004, currently represents Washington’s Fifth Congressional District.

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Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., announced Thursday that she will not be seeking re-election to the House. (Valerie Plesch/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“For years now, my team and I have lived and worked by our values of having fun while we SERVE — to Seek excellence, that Everybody matters, to Responsibly own it, practice Vigilant integrity, and Embrace change. I’m proud of how it’s helped us be more effective and deliver results to my district and the hardworking people of this country. There is no doubt I’ve had the best staff on my team. They are smart, strategic, and committed to building trust,” she said.

Rodgers, one of 34 Republican women currently serving in the House, has been assigned to a number of committees during her tenure in Congress and currently serves as chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Rodgers is the first female to hold that position since the committee was formed in 1975.

With her family’s “love, support, and patience,” McMorris Rodgers said she was able to serve as well as she did during her time in office.

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“Especially as Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I’ve seen the best of Eastern Washington and the United States of America. We will spend this year honoring the Committee’s rich history — plowing the hard ground necessary to legislate on solutions to make people’s lives better and ensure America wins the future,” McMorris Rodgers said.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., speaks during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol on January 18, 2024, in Washington, DC. (Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

In addition to her role as chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, McMorris Rodgers also served as chair of the House Republican Conference from 2013 to 2019. Prior to that, she served as vice chair of the conference from 2009 to 2013.

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“Every day, my number one priority is to pray. I pray that God’s purpose over my life will be more deeply rooted in my heart and in gratitude for the remarkable colleagues and people He has brought into my life. No matter the division, we must unite in prayer. And as we do, we will bring hope and healing to broken lives, broken families, and broken systems failing broken people. Together, may we always be guided by God’s abundant grace and wisdom to keep the promise of America alive,” she concluded.

Rodgers’ current term ends on Jan. 3, 2025.

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