Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the only woman to serve in the Republican congressional leadership next year, hit back against complaints of the lack of diversity among the party's lawmakers.
"There is a lot of diversity when you look at the experiences, the backgrounds," the Washington lawmaker, who has been reelected to her post as Republican conference chairwoman, told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" program.
The complaints about diversity were sparked after Vice President-elect Mike Pence, following a meeting with House Republicans, used a long selfie stick to snap a photograph of himself with the assembled lawmakers.
"We are younger," McMorris Rodgers said Friday. "You look at our leadership team. We're 23 years on average younger than the Democrats. I do believe we need to continue to grow the party, though, and continue to reach out to every corner of this country, every person, so that they know that the policies, the proposals are the ones that are going to prove their lives."
McMorris Rodgers also responded to the news that President-Elect Donald Trump has tagged one of her colleagues, Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo, to head the CIA, saying she thinks "it's great," while describing the Pence meeting as bringing "so much energy" to lawmakers.
"We are excited to go to work and recognize that this election was really about the people saying they want to be at the center of this government, and we're ready to go to work, get results on their behalf," McMorris Rodgers said. "We're ready. We believe it's a time for restoring representative government, putting people at the center of their government. You know, I believe we need to be thinking big. We need to be reimagining government."
Repealing and replacing Obamacare remains a priority, she said.
"As you look at what the promises were when Obamacare was passed, it's not been fulfilled, unfortunately," said McMorris Rodgers. "You see that premiums are going up. People do not have the choices that they were promised. They don't have the doctor of their choice. A part of our 'Better Way' agenda, which is the house Republicans leading on specific policy proposals was repeal and replacement of Obamacare. We know that we can do better and that we can put people at the center of their health care and restore the decision-making that belongs between the patient and the doctor."
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