Roby Column - Feburary 28, 2011

February 28, 2011
Representative Roby's Weekly Column


Second District Work Week: The implementation of a new voting calendar in the U.S. House of Representatives allows me to travel throughout the Second Congressional District every third week. My staff and I are taking full advantage of this opportunity. We have held nearly fifty meetings and events throughout the district in the first two workweeks, and each has provided me valuable time with my constituents to listen, discuss issues, and share thoughts and concerns. This heightened transparency and accountability allows me to better serve and represent you.  

I continue to hear from my constituents about the immediate need to cut government spending and debt so that small businesses can grow and create jobs in our local communities, and many people expressed to me their concern that big government spending and debt is holding back the economy. This commonsense view is consistent with a new report by the National Association for Business Economics, who’s 47 member panel “continues to characterize excessive federal indebtedness as their single greatest concern” about the economy. (State and local government debt ranked as the second biggest worry.)
Our country is on an unsustainable path. I was sent to Washington to make tough decisions, especially regarding spending. Passing a Continuing Resolution last week that included $100 billion in discretionary spending cuts for Fiscal Year 2011 was the first step in stopping our ever-increasing annual deficit of $1.6 trillion. We anticipate further votes to cut greater spending throughout the year.

A real reduction in government spending will send a positive message to the private sector and spur job creation. Only when our private businesses begin to feel safe in the economy will they begin to invest in the creation of jobs. This is what the people want, and this is what is on the minds of my constituents.
During the week, I hosted an open house for my Covington County District office located in Andalusia. As my staff and I welcomed many people from surrounding communities, the topic of concern was clearly cutting government spending and regulation.

This topic also came up during my visit with members of the Rotary Club in Dothan this week. With numerous local business and professional leaders in attendance, the lunch proved to be a great venue to talk about job growth through government spending cuts. For the last two years, a dark cloud of uncertainty has hung over the heads of those that have the ability to create jobs. As I explained to the crowd in Dothan, I want to see our economy moving again. Shrinking the size and scope of our government is the best method to helping private businesses grow within our local communities.

On Wednesday, I traveled to Troy to visit CGI Group Inc., one of the world’s largest independent information technology and business-process service firms. While touring the facility, I learned about job creation at the Troy facility, which currently employs 148 people. Company officials say they anticipate that number to grow to 300 jobs by 2012. These new jobs will have a tremendous impact on the local and state economy.

We have to get money back in the hands of those who have the ability to create jobs. The government does not create jobs, private industry creates jobs. CGI in Troy is a prime example of private sector investment that will help get our country back on track.

It was exciting to speak with CGI staff members about the prospect of generating more jobs in the future and I’m grateful for them hosting my visit to the facility. 

Thank you to everyone who was able to meet with me during the District Work Week including: staff members at HealthSouth in Dothan; students and teachers at Enterprise High School; students and teachers at Opp Elementary School; Alabama Narcotics Officers; Central Alabama Regional Planning Commission; Dr. R. Bob Mullins, Jr., Alabama Medicaid Commissioner; students at Troy Nursing School; members of Silver Haired Legislature; General Crutchfield and soldiers on Fort Rucker; Wiregrass Veterans in Daleville; and the participants who attended the Daleville Town Hall meeting.

Click here to connect with me.