Roby: tax increases unnecessary
U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, fresh off one of the most contentious Congressional debates in recent history, Wednesday said tax increases are not needed to fix America’s budgetary issues.
Speaking at a local National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association meeting, Roby said many people have had to cut personal spending during the recession, and the federal government should follow suit.
“We don’t have a revenue problem. We’ve got a spending problem,” she said. “Tax increases … we cannot afford them at this point. We’ve got to make tough decisions to retain liberty and freedom.”
With that mentality, the Montgomery native who represents this area in the House of Representatives voted in favor of the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, which sought to cut federal spending by $111 billion in the first year and between $4 to $5 trillion over 10 years.
When President Barack Obama said he would veto the act, she supported Speaker of the House John Boehner’s proposed budget balancing bill.
“It was far from perfect, but it provided very strong firewalls against military cuts,” she said.
When Boehner’s bill gained no traction in the Senate, the plan that passed and saved the federal government from defaulting on loans was a mixture of Boehner’s ideas and what Obama desired.
Roby said she voted against the bill despite the fact it had many similarities to Boehner’s original bill.
She said the plan formed a joint committee whose members must determine how to slice $1.5 trillion in spending by a certain point. If not, sequestration occurs, and the defense and national security spending would be cut $600 billion over 10 years.
“We shouldn’t use defense and national security as an insurance card,” Roby said.
The Congresswoman said heated budget discussions will pick up shortly. The extension granted on Aug. 2 ends Sept. 30, and “I guarantee you we’ll be up against another government shutdown,” she said.
Roby serves on the Education and the Workforce Committee, and she also spoke about education issues, mainly the renewal of No Child Left Behind.
She said seven bills related to the renewal are up for consideration, and those bills seek to “keep what’s good” and remove all that is wrong with the act.
“These series of seven bills seeks to provide more flexibility. Federal dollars can be moved or shifted without penalty,” Roby said. “We’re going to take up AYP (adequate yearly progress). The way we calculate AYP has so many flaws, it makes it virtually impossible for any school to achieve it.”
Roby said she hopes the bills pass and allow more control on a local level.
“Our children are better served when parents, teachers and administrations are making decisions on their future instead of a faceless bureaucrat,” Roby said.
Roby, whose district includes Maxwell Air Force Base and Fort Rucker, serves on the House Armed Forces Committee. The Congresswoman said she seeks any opportunity to grow Fort Rucker that makes “fiscal sense.”
“We’ve got the infrastructure. We’ve got the land,” Roby said.
As a member of the committee, she also aims to have more oversight on defense spending in this tough economic period. She voted against an increase in appropriations to the Air Force and Navy.
Roby said the money aimed to continue funding the manufacturing of a second, unnecessary motor for the F-35 fighter jet.
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