Roby: I know the responsibility you gave me

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, June 29, 2011

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby shoots straight from the hip.

She’s quick to say what can be done, what can’t be done, what needs to be done and what has to be done.

Roby told the Brundidge Rotary Club Wednesday that her first six months in Washington have been personally and politically rewarding and challenging.

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“I wake up every morning knowing the responsibility that you have given me,” she told the Rotarians and their guests. “This is my ball to carry. I will do my best on your behalf to sustain the greatness of America.”

Roby said the greatest “surprise” of being a U.S. Representative is “the hugeness, the vastness of government.”

Roby sits on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Agriculture, both for which she campaigned, and also the House Education and Workforce Committee.

There are 87 Republican freshmen in Congress so Roby said pickings were slim for seats at the table. But she realized the importance of the two major military installations in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District and the importance that agriculture continues to play in the area’s economy. She wanted to sit on those committees.

Not many members of Congress sit on three committees but Roby’s third appointment allows her a seat at the table to reform education policies that affect the more than 120,000 K-12 students in Alabama’s Second Congressional District and to have a say in keeping jobs open and putting people back to work.

Roby said 83 percent of the nation’s population knows someone who has lost a job in recent times and that the federal government has not done much about the unemployment situation.

“I believe in limited government and smaller government,” she said. “We need to lift the heavy hand of government off the job creators,” she said.

Roby said government red tape strangles every sector’s efforts to create jobs.

“Government gets in the way of the ability to create jobs,” she said.

As far as Medicare, Roby said that the Republican’s Medicare plan is a workable one.

“Nothing will be touched for current seniors and those 10 years out,” she said. “But it will be different for the rest of us because we can’t sustain what we are doing now.”

Roby took questions from the Rotarians, beginning with a question about the nation debt.

“We don’t have a revenue problem,” she said. “We have a spending problem and mandatory spending is a serious problem. We must pay our credit bill.”

On illegal immigrants, Roby said that she will never condone illegal activities.

“We are about a dual problem – illegal immigrants and legal immigrants,” she said. “There are people who hate the United States and are a threat to our security; therefore, we must deal with the border situation.”

On legal immigrants, she said that the government makes citizenship a difficult and long process for those who love America and want to become loyal and productive members of society.

Roby also recognizes the need for migrant workers in many areas.

“Over in Georgia right now, there is concern about getting in the Vidalia onion crop without the number of migrant workers that are needed,” she said.

For Roby, there are many decisions to be made in committee and on the floor of Congress. Some decisions she makes will be popular. Others will not. But, she is committed to doing what is right for her district, Alabama and the nation.

“And, if I have to go home from Congress because I did the right thing, then I have nothing to lose,” she said. “I’ll go home to my children and we’ll go to the zoo. I have nothing to lose by doing right by you.”