Congresswoman Martha Roby

Representing the 2nd District of Alabama

Roby Column - March 21, 2011

March 21, 2011
Representative Roby's Weekly Column

Fighting for budget reform, regulation cuts

The people of the Second District sent me to Washington to make tough choices, and for the past several months, I have been working hard to fight spending and cut burdensome federal regulations. There is much more work to do.

Since President Obama took office, Congressional Democrats have added $4.5 trillion to the national debt. America is broke, and the situation continues to get worse—not better.

Small businesses and working families across America make a budget and stick to it. So should the Congress. Last year, Democrats neglected to pass even a broad budget plan for this year’s budget, FY2011. As we work to clean up the mess they made, House Republicans continue to show leadership on the issue of spending. In five weeks, my colleagues and I have voted to cut $10 billion in federal spending. (Senate Democrats have scuttled deeper spending cuts and a repeal of Obamacare that we passed in the House.) We cannot fix in eight weeks all the damage done in the last two years – particularly when Republicans control neither the Senate nor the White House. Even so, we must keep pressing for more.

The Continuing Resolution we passed this week cut more spending than has ever been cut in a Continuing Resolution in the history of our nation. The Continuing Resolution gave our leadership a reasonable extension of time to negotiate real long-term spending cuts and kept the government open. Shutting down the government would halt the processing of Social Security benefits, keep thousands of civilian contractors from going to work, and even curtail veterans’ services. In the midst of a fragile economic recovery, two wars, and serious unrest in the Middle East, we should avoid that outcome if possible.

Passing a short-term Continuing Resolution is not the preferred way to run the government, and I will not be satisfied until we approve a long-term budget plan that achieves deeper spending cuts. However, I believe we should cut spending while keeping the government running, which the short-term Continuing Resolution accomplished. We have a long way to go, but this is another step in the right direction.

More spending means more government—that eventually results in higher taxes and more regulation. The threat of new taxes and regulations is keeping small businesses from investing and creating jobs. We need to cut spending to get our nation back on track toward economic strength and prosperity. We must continue to demand cuts at every opportunity.

Once our small businesses are free from the threats of tax increases and federal regulations, they will be unleashed to grow and create jobs. I talked about federal regulations with members of the Alabama Farmer’s Association this week while they were in Washington for their annual conference. I explained that our federal government is overzealous with their regulatory authority. The EPA is a top example of federal agencies run amok, as evidenced by the long laundry list of regulations that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was questioned about at an Agriculture Committee hearing.

I told members of ALFA that farmers and other businesses owners create jobs, and that I will fight hard to reduce government regulations that stand in their way. The quicker that we can get the government to stop regulating our small business owners and our farmers, the quicker we can get our country back on track.

Fighting for conservative values

President Obama’s decision to order the Justice Department to drop its defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is outrageous.

Enacted in 1996, a bipartisan majority passed DOMA into law to define marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. The job of the Department of Justice is to defend the laws approved by “We the People” by and through our elected representatives. This defense must occur regardless of the political views of the attorney general or the president. For the White House to no longer defend DOMA seems an inexcusable political exercise, and undermines our law making process.

I cosponsored a resolution that my colleagues and I introduced this week to call on the White House to reverse its decision and to begin to defend DOMA from legal challenges. I will continue to stand up for our conservative values.

In the Office

A large part of my role as your representative is to meet with scores of individuals and groups in Alabama that are working to improve our local communities and making the state of Alabama a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share your thoughts and concerns. I value your time and your interest to speak to me about the issues that are important to Alabama.

This week, Air Force Maj. Colby Kuhns, a pilot stationed at Maxwell A.F.B., met with me when he visited my office in Washington, D.C. It is my honor to represent the many military men and women serving and stationed throughout our Second Congressional District.

I also met with Larry Hall, a retired postmaster from Wetumpka, with his wife Pam (from Eclectic), when they came to speak with me in my Washington, D.C., office. I also met with Keri Flowers, a future mathematics teacher from Jack, AL. I had the opportunity to talk with the Stubblefield, Vaughan, Murph and Bennett families when they visited my office before taking a tour of the U.S. Capitol.

Click here to connect with me.