Congresswoman Martha Roby

Representing the 2nd District of Alabama

Committee Assignments Bring New Opportunities

January 13, 2017
Representative Roby's Weekly Column

Committee assignments for the 115th Congress were announced this past week. As you may know, much of the meaningful legislative work in Congress takes place in committee. That’s why it is so important for every congressman to secure assignments to key committees handling legislation that affects their state and district. I am grateful to continue serving on the House Appropriations Committee, a position that gives me the opportunity to advocate for conservative spending priorities and have oversight of funding affecting most every area of government.

However, the new term does comes with some exciting changes. I have been assigned to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, a positive development for our state and district. The Appropriations Committee is divided into 12 subcommittees, each responsible for crafting a funding plan for its division of government. The Defense Appropriations Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the military budget and writes spending plans to address the needs of our Armed Forces. With Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base and Fort Rucker being such critical components to the 2nd District and the State of Alabama, I’m glad to have a seat at the table for crafting the defense spending policies that impact our district’s military communities and our national security.
 
The next few years will be decisive for the future of our military. One of Congress’ most fundamental constitutional duties is to provide for the common defense, and from day one of my service in Congress, I have fought to ensure that our Armed Forces are properly funded. We must fulfill this responsibility by ensuring that our military remains the world’s most capable while using taxpayer dollars carefully and efficiently. I take this charge very seriously, and I’m excited to get to work in my new capacity on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
 
I’ll also continue to serve on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Education, Health and Human Services as well as the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science. These subcommittee assignments place me in the position to impact some major legislative initiatives, from changes to health care law and policies impacting the workforce to criminal justice issues and the space program.
 
This year’s committee shuffle came with another exciting change: in addition to Appropriations, I have now been asked to serve on the House Judiciary Committee. As you may know, the Judiciary Committee is a key panel with jurisdiction over criminal statutes, administration of federal courts, immigration policy and border enforcement, and regulatory procedure, among others.
 
As an attorney, I’m excited to work more closely on the important issues this committee touches.  A top priority for our unified Republican government must be reestablishing Constitutional order and the rule of law in this country, and serving on the Judiciary Committee gives me the opportunity to contribute to this important work.
 
Being assigned to two committees of such influence is truly rare in Congress. I greatly appreciate House Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and my Chairmen, Rodney Frelinghuysen on Appropriations and Bob Goodlatte on Judiciary, for having the faith in me to handle such a significant workload.
 
Part of my job in Congress is to build relationships with key leaders and use my positions of influence to be a strong voice for the people I represent. I’m grateful for the opportunities these new assignments will bring and ready to hit the ground running.