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DCCC Says McMorris Rodgers 'Owes the Nation an Apology for Lying'

(Jim Watson/Getty Images)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is calling on House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers to apologize for "lying" in her response to the president's State of the Union address on Thursday night.  

But the Washington Republican thinks she has nothing to apologize for.  

The DCCC, in a statement on Friday afternoon, took issue with a specific anecdote McMorris Rodgers used in her rebuttal about a certain constituent, "Bette from Spokane."  

McMorris Rodgers described Bette as someone "who hoped the president's health care law would save her money — but found out instead that her premiums were going up nearly $700 a month."  

Actually, Bette Grenier, 58, was never forced to pay a higher premium, according to an interview with the Spokane Spokesman-Review . In fact, she knew there were other, less-expensive health care options being offered through the exchanges on HealthCare.gov, but she wasn't interested pursuing them. “Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers owes the nation an apology for lying in her Republican response to the State of the Union this week and spreading more misinformation to Americans about their health care options,” Emily Bittner, a DCCC spokeswoman, said Friday. “Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers and House Republicans are so desperate to please their insurance company contributors and send Americans back to the days when insurance companies had free rein that they are now resorting to embellishing stories and leaving out the facts to mislead Americans about the new affordable, comprehensive coverage available to them.”  

The Spokesman-Review reported that Grenier didn't mind that her story had been used to bolster the GOP attack against the president's health care law, but noted she hadn't been contacted beforehand to learn that she would be getting a shout-out. Grenier had simply reached out to McMorris Rodgers, her congresswoman, to share her plight.  

As for McMorris Rodgers' retelling of that story, a Republican Conference aide suggested that if Grenier left out key details, that wasn't the chairwoman's fault.  

"Bette proactively reached out to the office and the Congresswoman's description of her premium increase was consistent with the information she gave us," the aide told CQ Roll Call in an email. "She liked her plan, was told she could no longer keep it, and the alternative was significantly more expensive. We shared the story that Bette shared with the us."  

McMorris Rodgers took to social media to defend her constituent.  

"It's sad partisan politicians are attacking Bette, whose premiums would've skyrocketed," she tweeted. "Bette and millions more are being hurt by this law."