NONPARTISAN CANDIDATE GUIDE: 2018 WASHINGTON CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT #5

Lisa Brown (D)
Lisa Brown (D)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R–Incumbent)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R–Incumbent)

Created by the Campus Election Engagement Project, a nonpartisan effort to help college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders engage their schools in the election. Key sites consulted included Votesmart.org, OntheIssues.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com, and public candidate statements. For guides to local races, see Vote411.org from the League of Women Voters and Ballotready.org. For more detailed information visit their votesmart.org pages.

Visit lisabrownforcongress.com and cathyforcongress.com to volunteer. To download a printable pdf version of this guide, click here.


Abortion: Mostly ban or mostly legal?

Lisa Brown – Legal. “Roe v. Wade concluded… that women have a constitutional right of privacy over their reproductive health decisions,” she said. “Abortion should be safe & legal.”

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Ban, with exceptions for rape, incest, or threat to the life of the mother.

 

Campaign Finance: Require political ads to disclose their largest funders?

Lisa Brown – Yes. Supports the DISCLOSE Act & exposing “dark-money donations.”

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – No. Called for more campaign finance transparency. Voted against 2010 DISCLOSE Act & blocked debate on it in 2018.

 

Campaign Finance: Support Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited political donations from corporations, unions & super PACs?

Lisa Brown – No. “I took the End Citizens United pledge to make it clear to people in the 5th District that PAC money won’t determine who gets in the door.”

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Yes. Blocked debate to reverse Citizens United. Doesn’t support regulating indirect campaign contributions from corporations or unions.

 

Climate Change: Consider climate change a serious threat?

Lisa Brown – Yes. “I believe in science & that climate change is a major issue facing our planet. We need to find solutions to creating a clean-energy economy.”

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Unclear. “A number of variables drive the Earth’s cooling & warming. Humans can play a role in reducing carbon emissions.”

 

Climate Change: Limit or tax greenhouse gas production? Support US as part of Paris Accord despite Trump withdrawal?

Lisa Brown – Yes to taxing greenhouse gas emissions & US participation in Paris Climate Accord.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Mixed. Lower greenhouse gases by reducing regulations on carbon-free energy sources like hydro. Opposes regulating greenhouse gases. No on Paris Accord.

 

Courts: Support President Trump’s choice of Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court nominee?  

Lisa Brown – Unclear.  Don’t rush to confirm Kavanaugh. Asked Senate to conduct independent investigation.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Yes. “Judge Kavanaugh has devoted his career to public service & is certainly qualified for the job.”  Said trusted Senate process on allegations.

 

Economy: Support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?

Lisa Brown – Yes. Supports investments in “infrastructure & education.”

Cathy McMorris Rodgers No. Stop “burdensome” regulations. Cut spending. Balance budget.

 

Economy: Support President Trump’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese imports?

Lisa Brown – No.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Unclear. Opposed tariffs but didn’t back Republican bill to limit new Trump tariffs.

 

Environment: Support cutbacks in Environmental Protection Administration (EPA)?

Lisa Brown – Likely no. Wants to “ensure strong environmental protections, support clean water, healthy forests.”

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Yes. Amended 2019 act to restrict funding from being used to implement EPA’s water quality standard.

 

Financial Regulation: Support cutbacks in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

Lisa Brown – No statement found.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Yes.

 

Gay Marriage: Support gay marriage?

Lisa Brown – Yes.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – No.

 

Gun Control: Support more restrictive gun control legislation, including semi-automatic weapons?

Lisa Brown – Yes. Favors “banning bump stocks, closing loopholes in background check system” & raising legal age for owning semi-automatic weapons to 21.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Somewhat. Supports bump stock ban & some background checks, but opposes others, like raising age limit for owning semi-automatic weapons.

 

Healthcare: Support or Repeal Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare?

Lisa Brown – Support. ACA is “far from perfect” but has “greatly improved” access to healthcare.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Repeal & replace. “Replace it with a system that puts the people—not the government—at the heart of healthcare.”

 

Healthcare: Let Planned Parenthood get public funds for non-abortion healthcare?

Lisa Brown – Yes.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – No. Voted to take funding away from Planned Parenthood.

 

Healthcare: Require people to work to receive Medicaid or SNAP?

Lisa Brown – No for Medicaid & SNAP.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – No statement found.

 

Immigration: Support path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, including DACA recipients or “Dreamers,” who grew up in US after being brought here as children?

Lisa Brown – Yes on DACA. Unclear on other illegal immigrants. Calls for “comprehensive immigration bill that is negotiated between… Democrats & Republicans.”

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Unclear. Has supported path to citizenship for DACA recipients who meet certain criteria. Open to “merit-based visa” for other illegal immigrants.

 

Iran: Support President Trump withdrawing from multinational treaty limiting Iran’s nuclear capability in return for lifting economic sanctions?

Lisa Brown – No. Implementation & enforcement issues need to be fixed, but unilaterally pulling out without a clear strategy was wrong.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Yes. Treaty was flawed & didn’t do enough to stop Iran. We need a new direction.

 

Marijuana: Should it be legalized?

Lisa Brown – Yes. Supported Washington legalization. Federal government shouldn’t interfere with laws approved by voters.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – No. Marijuana contributes to drug addiction & abuse. Supports Jeff Sessions in cracking down on states that have legalized.

 

Net Neutrality: Require internet providers to give all users equal access?

Lisa Brown – Yes. Supports “keeping the Internet open & fair for people & businesses.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – No. Says regulations hamper investment & reduce consumer choice.

 

Privatization: Support full or partial privatization of Veterans Affairs?

Lisa Brown – No for both Social Security & VA.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Yes to partially privatize VA.

 

Renewable Energy: Support government subsidies for renewable energy?

Lisa Brown – Yes. “Encourage transition to cleaner energy systems through incentives & taxes.“

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – No. Opposes.

 

Student debt: Refinance student loans at lower rates

Lisa Brown – Yes. Expand student loan forgiveness programs, support Federal Student Loan Refinancing Act to lower costs.  “What does it say about our nation’s priorities when we make it easier to refinance a car loan than a student loan?”

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Mixed. Voted against 2014 amendment allowing refinancing at lower rates (though also including issues like minimum wasge). Didn’t sponsor Federal Student Loan Refinancing Act.  Did extend loan rates in 2012 vote.

 

Student Financial Aid: Increase federal student financial aid, like Pell Grants?

Lisa Brown – Yes. Federal Pell Grants haven’t kept pace with cost of college, forcing students to take on more debt as they pursue their dreams.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Mostly no. Helped craft budget that cut Pell Grant funding.  Did support legislation allowing Pell grants to be used year round.

 

Taxes: Support President Trump’s tax cuts?

Lisa Brown – No. “83%  percent of the benefits go to the top 1 %percent, and  & I don’t see that as pro-most families” or pro-economy.”

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Yes. “Since the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act was passed, companies are investing in America again.”

 

Voting Rights: Support voting rules that prioritize preventing the possibility of fraud, even if they limit access?

Lisa Brown – No. “Anything you can do, regardless of what side you are on, to get people to participate, that is really important.”

Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Mixed. Voted for bipartisan legislation to extend original Voting Rights Act in 2006, but has also voted for stricter voter restrictions, including photo IDs.