August 10, 2018 Press Release

Group Launches Six-Figure TV Ad Buy Calling on McMorris Rodgers to Hold Administration Accountable for Family Separation Crisis

Ads will run in Eastern Washington, comes on heels of polling finding majority of voters want Cathy McMorris Rodgers to do more on family separation crisis

08.10.18 — Today, Equity Forward Action released a TV ad, “Thousands” with a six-figure ad buy in Eastern Washington calling on Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) to take action and hold the Trump administration accountable for separating thousands of children from their families at the border due to its cruel and inhumane “zero tolerance” policy. To this day, hundreds of children remain separated from their families, and a U.S. District Court Judge warned that each child who is not reunified could be a “permanently orphaned child.”

Watch the ad HERE.

“Even though she’s the fourth highest ranking member in the house, McMorris Rodgers has failed her constituents and failed these children by not using her position to hold the administration accountable,” said Mary Alice Carter, Executive Director of Equity Forward Action. “Today there are potentially hundreds of children who could be orphaned and McMorris Rodgers has done next to nothing to solve the problem or hold those in power accountable.”

Cathy McMorris Rodgers sits on the Energy & Commerce Committee, which has direct oversight responsibilities of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Office of Refugee Resettlement, the entities responsible for caring for and housing the children separated from their families. While McMorris Rodgers has said she’s opposed to the administration’s actions, she has not conducted any meaningful oversight of the crisis or held any administration officials accountable for their conduct.

Carter continued, “It’s time for McMorris Rodgers to use her leadership position to do something on this crisis. Congress has a responsibility to conduct oversight of the administration, but she’s yet to participate in a single hearing to hold HHS Secretary Alex Azar accountable.  Time after time, McMorris Rodgers has said, “Congress must act.” You are Congress. You are leadership. You should act. Stop passing the buck while children are at risk of never seeing their parents again.”

Just last week, Equity Forward Action released a poll of Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ constituents’ views on the Trump Administration’s child separation crisis and Congress’ role in holding the administration accountable for the policy. Topline findings include:

  • Even though voters in McMorris Rodgers’ district lean Republican on party self-identification, half of her constituents (50%) say McMorris Rodgers has not done enough on the family separation crisis and nearly two-thirds of voters (66%) across the district say they want Congress to act by increasing the accountability and transparency of the agencies and officials overseeing the separated children.

  • 47% of voters are more likely to support a candidate who opposed the Trump Administration’s policy while only 34% back a candidate who supported the Trump Administration’s policy.

  • The vast majority of voters (82%) say that the Trump Administration has a responsibility to reunite these children with their parents, more than half (54%) say they have “very little” confidence that the Trump Administration will meet the deadline to reunite these families.

  • Over three-quarters of voters (79%) said they would have a more favorable view of their Representative if she supported legislation to increase transparency on this administration and most voters (70%) also said they would be more favorable towards her if she called for the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement– an Office within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which is charged with caring for the children and returning them to their parents, to testify before Congress about the reunification efforts and treatment of the children in its care. As the poll was fielded, hundreds of children separated from their families remained in ORR custody.

View the Polls & Memo HERE.

Today’s ad follows a similar campaign from Equity Forward Action calling on Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Representative Leonard Lance (R-NJ) to use their authority in Congress to hold the Trump Administration accountable for the child separation crisis.

About this polling

Global Strategy Group conducted surveys of 400 likely 2018 Midterm election voters in Washington’s 5th Congressional District between July 24-26, 2018. The results of each survey have a margin of error of +/-4.9%. Care has been taken to ensure the geographic and demographic divisions of the expected electorate are properly represented based on historical turnout.