Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers will deliver the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night, GOP leaders announced.
McMorris Rodgers is in her fifth term representing an eastern Washington Congressional district that runs from Walla Walla north to Spokane and the Canadian border. She's chair of the House Republican conference, a position that makes her the fourth-highest ranking Republican in the House and the highest ranking woman within the House GOP leadership.
The selection comes as the Republican Party seeks to counter the Democratic advantage among female voters.
Republican leaders emphasized McMorris Rodgers' family background, saying she was the first in her family to graduate college, has three children, and co-chairs the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus.
"Through the lens of her family’s experiences, Cathy will share our vision for a better America built on a thriving middle class, guided by a fierce belief in life and liberty, and grounded in greater trust between citizens and their government," said House Speaker John Boehner.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said her hard work and commitment to family sets an example.
“I am honored to speak with Americans in every corner of the country on Tuesday and to share our Republican vision for a better future – one that trusts the American people and doesn’t limit where you finish because of where you started,” McMorris Rodgers said in the announcement.