Congresswoman Martha Roby

Representing the 2nd District of Alabama

Roby Column - June 14, 2011

June 14, 2011
Representative Roby's Weekly Column

In a crucial vote to change the course of spending in Washington, I recently opposed legislation that would increase the national debt limit from $14.3 trillion to $16.7 trillion. Over the past several years, Democrats have increased discretionary spending 24 percent adding an additional $4.5 trillion in the national debt. All the while, the American public has sat helplessly on the sidelines watching the Democrats in Washington drive our debt to historic levels.

Our country faces a budget crisis. Moreover, the May 2011 jobs numbers reported that the unemployment rate climbed to 9.1 percent. This is not good news as our nation is already grappling with a severe recession. If we do not take bold action soon, America’s budget situation will only get worse.

House Republicans are the only group in Washington demonstrating any leadership to cut spending. This is evident as my colleagues and I repeatedly vote to cut government spending for the short term and passed a budget to reduce spending by $6.2 trillion over 10 years.

Unfortunately, even as we are facing this budget crisis, the White House asked Congress to raise the debt limit. Calling House Republicans to the White House, President Obama requested a vote in favor of a straight increase to the debt limit and for Congress to approve more debt - without cutting back any spending.

By suggesting an increase in the debt ceiling, the White House and Senate Democrats should have also proposed long-term, transformational reforms to reduce the size of government and curb bloated government spending. President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should have come to the table with real solutions. Neither happened.

Increasing the country’s limit to borrow money with no means to pay back the trillions we already owe is simply bad policy. It is not the way to restore fiscal responsibility to Congress. We cannot vote to raise the debt limit without making significant reforms to change the culture of spending in Washington. House Republicans rejected the Administration’s approach to raise the debt ceiling and voted down the legislation 318-97, as it provided no spending cuts or budget reforms.

I was honored to lead debate on the House floor on this issue emphasizing there must be a true commitment to real spending cuts in order to spur job creation and get our economy back on track. Cutting spending removes the threat of new taxes and regulation, and helps restore certainty to the economy. We must provide small business owners the confidence that they need to invest and grow so that they are able to create more American jobs. This plan will help launch a new era of market-driven prosperity and opportunity for all Americans.

Bringing about a prosperous economic environment to create more jobs is my clear objective. Cutting government spending and reforming reckless Washington ways must be the number one goal. Raising the debt limit without proposing significant budget reforms is not part of this plan.

It is time to get our nation back on track. We must right now change the way we do things in Washington to create something better for our future generations.