by Cara Gardner

HEALTH CARE -- As with most of the key issues in this race, McMorris' views are similar to her fellow Republican candidates'. She supports tort reform and opposes a single-payer health care plan run by the government. But McMorris doesn't shy away from admitting that as a Republican, she's got some work to do.

"Republicans in general have neglected to be pro-active about health care," McMorris says. "It's a huge issue, and it's something Republicans have to be focused on."

JOBS -- McMorris has made jobs and the economy -- always high on the list of voters' concerns in the Inland Northwest -- her top priority. Specifically, she's supportive of small business and is an advocate of pro-farming legislation.

"Without a doubt, it's a key issue," she says. "There's a lot involved in creating jobs and spurring the economy. During my time in the legislature, I've come to recognize it's most effective to help businesses that are currently established here, and it highlights the importance of reducing tax burden[s] and regulatory burden[s]."

MEDICAL ETHICS -- McMorris is pro-life, but says stem cell research is more complicated.

"I support the approach President Bush laid out that allows advance of science without disrupting life," McMorris says. "It's a difficult issue, and I want to protect the new life." But McMorris differs from Bush's perspective on right-to-die issues, saying it shouldn't be regulated. "I would ensure the patient and the doctor were being able to make

those decisions."

ENVIRONMENT -- Like the other Republican candidates, McMorris wants to see amendments to the Endangered Species Act. "The ESA needs to take into consideration economic considerations," she says. She supports creating incentives for property owners to protect endangered species rather than punishments for violating the ESA.

IRAQ -- McMorris supports the Bush administration's invasion of

Iraq. When questioned about what she'd like to see happen there, however, she says she would like to see the United States leave.

"I'd like to see [the troops] come home as soon as possible," McMorris says. "The longer we're there, the more doubts it'll raise. We should finish our business, round 'em up and have the new [Iraqi] government take over fully as soon as possible."

PATRIOT ACT -- Despite a few noted exceptions, like John McCain, most Republicans have a hard time talking about the Patriot Act. On the one hand, Republicans have traditionally sought to protect civil liberties; on the other, few politicians will come out directly against their own party, particularly after 9/11, to oppose acts passed in the name of defense and safety. McMorris is no different.

"There is a fine line between giving government the tools to do their job and not infringing on rights," she says. "That's the challenge with the Patriot Act. We need to be giving our government those tools [but] there are many parts that need to be revisited. My concern is with the potential

for abuse."

FAITH -- McMorris says she goes to church when she can at Grace Evangelical Church in Colville. "I'm a Christian, and I think being a Christian means conducting yourself a certain way, both in the way you act and the way you treat people. I try to be the person God wants me to be."

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE -- "I am supportive of the constitutional amendment that defines marriage being between man and woman," McMorris says. "I think it's a situation where we have activist judges where they are pursuing their own agenda. Right here in Washington state, we have a King County judge who ruled without respecting the Defense of Marriage Act. And bottom line, there needs to be respect for rule of law."

THE FEDERAL DEFICIT -- McMorris says that government spending is out of control. "I support a balanced-budget amendment," she says. "We should look where can reduce the waste within the system. In government, you have duplication of services and huge bureaucracy that imposes too much paperwork in the name of accountability -- but it's costing a whole lot of money."

Publication date: 08/19/04

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