Roby discusses ongoing issues in Washington
During a tour of the 2nd Congressional District, Martha Roby stopped in Enterprise March 19 to discuss some ongoing issues in Washington with members of the Republican Women of Coffee County.
Roby, who was recently appointed to the House Appropriations Committee, said the position gives direct oversight on military spending, construction and veterans affairs, as well as the recently-passed Farm Bill and issues with education and labor.
"I think it's really good for Alabama that we have this seat," Roby said. "I'm already seeing how important this role is and I pledge to do my best to make sure that I'm taking advantage of this unique seat on this committee."
Since becoming a member of Congress in 2010, Roby said the country has gone from one fiscal crisis to another.
The government went from one continuing resolution to another before the Budget Control Act was passed that implemented sequestration.
This year, a budget deal was made followed by Congress passing an omnibus spending bill.
"Again, not the way we want to do business, but we got the government funded through the end of the year," Roby said. "It provides certainty on how those dollars should be spent."
The passage of the bill, Roby said, gives Congress an opportunity to return to regular order.
As far as a possible 2017 BRAC, or base realignment and closure, Roby carried the same sentiments as Friends of Fort Rucker chairman Rod Wolfe, in that a BRAC may not necessarily be a negative thing, but could be an opportunity for Fort Rucker.
"Our job in working with mayors and Friends of Fort Rucker and all of the stakeholders is to ensure that we are prepared and ready to make sure there is opportunity for our military installations all over this state," Roby said.
In order to combat what many in the House have described an "imperial presidency," or one that has made many unilateral decisions without approval from Congress, Roby said the House has passed the ENFORCE the Law Act (Executive Needs to Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments).
"When Congress passes a law that doesn't meet the Constitution ... you, an individual that' s been harmed by that law, can challenge that law and the Supreme Court can rule that law unconstitutional, and it's no longer a law," Roby said. "So the question is why, as an institution, can the Congress not sue the president and hold him to the same standard that we're held to. So that's exactly what we've done."
The law, if approved by the Senate and signed by the president, would essentially make it easier to sue the president.
"It sets out an expedited manner in which we get through the federal court," Roby said. "It gives us the institutional standing to hold the president accountable for what we believe to be extreme executive overreach."
Roby listed examples beyond the separation of powers, citing waiving the welfare to work requirements, refusing to defend the Defensive Marriage Act, using waivers to influence educational policy and providing Obamacare waivers to some people but not everybody.
"This is the president's signature piece of legislation that he dropped everything else when Nancy Pelosi had the gavel to ram this through, this train wreck of a law, to the American people and getting Congress in a partisan way to pass it, and now not needing the Congress to change it," Roby said.
The STOP (Stop This Overreaching Presidency) resolution is another action that does not need Senate approval or a signature from the president that gives the House of Representatives this institutional standing to challenge the executive overreach.
"It's my hope that we can make the next step, pass this resolution, show some leadership and step out there and hold this president accountable, and not just this president," Roby said. "This sets a precedent for any future president that may want to do the same thing. Congress cannot and will not become irrelevant. We represent the people and it's our job to ensure that we are holding the other branches of government responsible for any overreach."
In the next week and into the summer, Roby said the House would be coming out with a solution to Obamacare.
The bill is being written by doctors, and would include free-market principles that would lower costs and make healthcare more accessible.
"We have got to put that bill on the floor and take a vote and demonstrate to the American people that we're not just pounding our fists and saying we're opposed to Obamacare, but here's something you can rally behind that is good," Roby said.
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