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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Soon-to-be voters sit down with McMorris Rodgers

Spokane Valley residents had several questions on budget reform, tariffs and health care for U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers on Friday afternoon during a town hall event.

The event, which was held at CenterPlace Regional Event Center, drew about 50 people.

An audience member asked McMorris Rodgers why the federal budget wasn’t reviewed thoroughly before allocating excess money to departments that didn’t need it.

McMorris Rodgers said she’s been advocating for federal budget reform and that it shouldn’t be subject to the filibuster in the Senate.

“We have got to get that budget done,” she said. “The way we are doing it right now is just resulting in more mismanagement and more money being spent … your hard-earned money that you’ve saved and taxpayer dollars that are not being spent wisely.”

Regarding President Donald Trump’s plan to impose tariffs, McMorris Rodgers said she’s concerned because Washington state is the most trade-dependent state in the country with 40 percent of its jobs depending on it. Eastern Washington farmers are nervous about the tariffs because they export 90 percent of their wheat to countries around the world, she said.

“I’ve spoken out against the across-the-board approach. I believe it should be targeted,” she said, adding that China is the main focus with imposing tariffs. “We want to grow, manufacture and produce here in America and then sell around the world. I have been speaking out nationally, locally and speaking out to the president himself.”

McMorris Rodgers also visited East Valley High School early Friday morning to speak with a group of students who will be first time-voters this year.

The question-and-answer session in the gymnasium touched on gun control and school safety. That event was closed to the media.

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