Southeast Sun: Roby outlines accomplishments, goals
“Why can’t Congress get anything done?”
That is a question that United States Rep. Martha Roby said she is asked on a regular basis.
“It’s a legitimate question and I share your frustration,” she told Ozark Rotarians Jan. 23. “But while there have been many legislative priorities stuck in the Senate in 2017, I want you to know that your representative in the House of Representatives has responded to America’s call for action with major successes on nearly every major conservative agenda item.”
Roby said she came to share some successes of the past year. “Legislative successes that you won’t hear on the news because they don’t want to talk about the good things that have happened,” she said.
“We finally delivered on a promise to cut taxes, bring balance to the tax code and jump start growth here in the United States,” Roby said. “This tax overhaul has already proven that there is tremendous opportunity for economic growth.”
Roby said that under the new tax law, the average American family of four will see about $2,100 in tax relief. “Not just for one year but annually,” she said.
“We passed a bill to overhaul Dodd-Frank and untangle the mass of financial regulations that are crushing hometown lenders, our community banks, small businesses and farmers,” Roby said. “The House has acted already to tackle our illegal immigration program by passing more legislation that allows for the funding of a border wall and crackdown on sanctuary cities that violate our immigration laws.
“I’ve always said that we absolutely have to crack down on our border security before we do anything,” Roby said, adding that she has co-sponsored legislation with Rep. Bob Goodlatte titled the Securing America’s Future Act. “This bill would refocus our legal immigration standards on the skills we actually need in our country, it would secure our borders and it would address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
DACA is an immigration policy that allowed some individuals who entered the country as minors and who had either entered or remained in the country illegally, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to be eligible for a work.
Roby’s bill would refocus immigration standards by ending the visa lottery, green card program and chain migration. “The bill would also create an agricultural guest worker program to grow our economy,” she said. “The legislation would secure our borders by authorizing border wall construction, securing and expanding ports of entry along the southern border and adding an additional 5,000 border patrol agents.
“The bill would grant DACA individuals a three-year renewable legal status that allows them to hold a job while using existing paths to citizenship.
“It does not provide blanket amnesty and it requires that people with criminal records will not be eligible for this temporary legal status,” Roby said, adding, “This is not the preference of my Democratic friends across the aisle. “
Roby cited increased funding for the fight against the national opioid epidemic, tougher penalties for sex and human trafficking and enhanced second amendment protections. “We passed a defense funding bill that provides service members with their biggest pay raise in eight years,” she added.
“I’m proud that President Trump signed into law the historic reforms at the Department of Veterans Affairs,” Roby said “I’m pleased with the improvement at the VA but we still have a very long way to go.”
Roby said big news for the district is that the Alabama National Guard’s 187th Fighter Wing at Danley Field in Montgomery has been selected for the Air Force’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter mission. “Landing this mission could result in as many as 1,000 additional jobs to the 1,400 that already exist and as much as $3 billion in capital investment,” she said. “and that’s just the beginning.
‘I want you to walk out of here encouraged because despite what the cable news is telling us every day, there’s a lot of positive things to bring hope to not just our country but specifically to the state of Alabama,” Roby said. “I’m proud of the many steps that we’ve taken in Congress to unleash the private sector and roll back these Obama-era rules and regulations that have been stifling growth.”