Roby Column - October 11, 2011

October 11, 2011
Representative Roby's Weekly Column

Urging Senate to Vote on House-Passed, Job-Growth Bills:

While recently working in the district, I spent a lot of time listening to job creators discuss the number of ways federal regulations stunt local job growth. Empty cubicles where employees once worked is a defining sign that our businesses are hurting.

This problem is real. Our nation’s unemployment numbers are real, as are the unemployment numbers here in Alabama.

Americans are turning to Congress for a solution. Therefore, my colleagues and I are actively engaged in an aggressive jobs-growth agenda. Since January, House Republican colleagues and I have passed numerous bills to halt federal restrictions that will free businesses from government over-regulation. These bills - if passed by the Senate and signed by the President - will reduce regulations on businesses, while maintaining a safe environment for employees to work. House-passed legislation will encourage domestic energy production while creating jobs here in the U.S. The provisions within these bills will curtail government involvement in the private sector to spur job and economic growth.

House-passed bills such as the, “Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act” and the, “Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act,” would lift the heavy hand of government that is burdening our private sector and severely restricting job creation. (A full list of House-passed, job-growth bills can be viewed on my Web site at roby.house.gov.)

Unfortunately, the House only serves as one-half of the Congress. And while each of these pro-growth jobs bills has successfully passed in the House Chamber, they remain stalled in the Senate. Without our Senate colleagues voting on these important bills, employers will remain bound to the harsh regulations that restrict their ability to bring about new jobs.

To encourage action, I recently joined with my Freshmen Republican House colleagues last week urging Senate Members to take up these bi-partisan, pro-growth bills in order to remove uncertainty from the marketplace and free the limitations that are binding our job creators.

As my House colleagues and I continue to push the Senate to take action on House-passed, pro-growth bills, I will continue to meet and talk with Alabama job creators. Ending government limitations that are binding private sector expansion is imperative for the growth of our nation’s economy. It is time to get our nation back on track, and bring jobs back to Americans who so desperately need them.

Legislative Activity Update:

A large part of my role in Congress is to support legislative actions that benefit our Second Congressional District. This comes in the form of sponsoring and cosponsoring legislation and endorsing initiatives that may possibly lead to future legislation. (To view the bills I have signed onto in the 112th Congressional Session, please visit the “Legislative Work” tab on my Web site, www.roby.house.gov).
This week, I joined with House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman, Rep. John Kline, in a letter urging the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to provide further information in its primary 2009 Race to the Top application process. To ensure we are holding states accountable for the terms of their Race to the Top awards, Chairman Kline and I requested that GAO provide supplemental details to prove how the states would use Race to the Top funds. Alabama did not qualify to receive this grant funding, and it is essential that those states that did receive the $4 billion in Race to the Top funding be held to the highest standard of accountability. It is necessary that the Congress continue to advance transparency on the federal level.
In addition, a recent GAO report found that the U.S. Department of Education took longer than anticipated to review each states’ Race to the Top plans due to the unique challenges facing each state. By working to improve education in America, we must first ensure that bureaucracy does not stand in the way of our schools’ success. Over the next few months, my colleagues on the House Education and the Workforce Committee and I will be considering legislation that will diminish federal intrusion in our state’s education system.