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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to appear at town hall Wednesday at Gonzaga University

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers speaks with an audience member following a town hall held at the Spokane Convention Center in August 2018. McMorris Rodgers is scheduled to appear at a town hall Wednesday on the campus of Gonzaga University. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers will hold her annual Spokane town hall Wednesday on the campus of Gonzaga University.

The event will not require online ticketing, as has been required in at least the past two town halls the congresswoman has held in Spokane. The events in Spokane are usually held during the August recess. It will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Globe Room at Cataldo Hall at Gonzaga and is scheduled to last until 6:30 p.m.

In recent weeks, McMorris Rodgers joined a group of lawmakers critical of President Donald Trump’s criticism on Twitter of a group of Democratic lawmakers belonging to minority groups. Trump suggested those four lawmakers, McMorris Rodgers’ colleagues in the House of Representatives, should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” despite the fact that three of those congresswomen are from the United States.

At the time, McMorris Rodgers said those comments were “wrong and distract from the discourse we’re having in this country about socialism.”

She did not answer a follow-up question from The Spokesman-Review at the time about whether she believed the president’s comments were racist. The congresswoman later voted against a resolution in the House to condemn Trump’s remarks as racist, saying afterward in a statement that the nonbinding resolution continued the Democratic-led House of Representatives’ track record in this Congress of passing “bills that are political statements rather than sincere legislation.”

That same critique was leveled by House Democrats during the two-year period from 2011 to 2013 when the GOP, including McMorris Rodgers as conference chair, controlled that chamber and Democrats controlled the Senate. Republicans took numerous votes in that Congress to undo all or portions of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, despite disinterest for the changes by Democratic leadership in the Senate and the veto threat from the White House.

On Twitter, McMorris Rodgers has been critical of the so-called Green New Deal proposed by one of those lawmakers, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., retweeting a study by the libertarian think tank the Competitive Enterprise Institute that the legislative package would cost households in four American states more than $70,000 in additional energy costs for the first year of implementation.

The congresswoman has also set her sights on energy policy in Washington state, joining GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse in criticizing a privately funded report this week that indicated public benefits from breaching the Snake River dams would outweigh any costs incurred by changes to transportation and hydropower generation. The lawmakers called the report “a slap in the face of our state’s agriculture economy.”

Conservation advocates have called for the dams to be removed to restore historic salmon migration patterns and have argued that changes in the way harvested wheat is being transported as well as a lesser demand beyond state lines for Washington water power indicate breaching should be considered.

In recent weeks, the congresswoman has been touting work on legislation addressing automated robocalls and increasing employment opportunities for those with disabilities.

In the past, McMorris Rodgers has answered questions about her votes on tax reform, health care and federal funding for women’s health care provider Planned Parenthood at her town hall events. The congresswoman held town halls last week in Asotin and Pomeroy, and she’ll hold one Thursday afternoon in Colville, according to her office.