U.S. Rep. Martha Roby today addressed the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs & Issues breakfast as part of the congressional August recess that gives members of Congress the opportunity to travel their districts and listen to constituents and update them on their activities.
Rep. Roby, R-Montgomery, discussed President Trump’s new push in Afghanistan, the nation’s political divisions, her support for the military, and the economy.
Rep. Roby, in her fourth term, serves on the House Judiciary Committee and the Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies subcommittee, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies subcommittee, and the Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations subcommittee.
Her district includes two substantial Department of Defense installations, Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, and the Fort Rucker Army helicopter base in southeast Alabama.
The Business Council of Alabama is a co-sponsor of the chamber breakfasts that regularly include senior military officers and enlisted men and women from Maxwell-Gunter.
The House Appropriations Committee has approved the Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Appropriations bill that includes money for Army aviation helicopters, Littoral Combat Ships being built in Mobile, upgrades to the Stryker vehicle that are repaired at the Anniston Army Depot, and for missile programs that have Alabama connections.
“I want to make sure all our men and women in uniform have everything they need,” Rep. Roby said. “We shouldn’t hamper our military.”
She praised President Trump’s decision to commit more troops in Afghanistan. “We’ve seen how showing our enemy the playbook is not the right approach,” Rep. Roby said.
Rep. Roby and Alabama’s congressional delegation is pushing to house some of the new F-35 multirole jet fighters with the Alabama 187th Air National Guard Fighter Wing headquartered at Montgomery’s Dannelly Field. She said locating the aircraft at Dannelly could mean 1,000 jobs.
Rep. Roby said despite negative news coverage of Washington, D.C., there are bright spots that get little attention: creation of more than 1 million new jobs, Congress voting to overturn many President Obama-era regulations, and historic workforce legislation.
And the House voted to repeal Obamacare this year, but it died in the Senate.
“Letting healthcare continue to fail is not an option,” she said. “Healthcare represents one-eighth of our economy. After watching what happened in the Senate it’s clear a broader coalition is needed.”
Rep. Roby said political discourse has got to the point that “anything less than complete and opposition” to President Trump is unacceptable and on the other hand only complete support for President Trump is acceptable.
Rep. Roby said Congress’s job is to debate important issues.
“None of us is going to agree on every issue ever time,” she said. “It’s part of the legislative process.”
Rep. Roby is an annual sponsor of a constitutional amendment bill requiring a balanced federal budget that would prohibit federal expenditures exceeding 20 percent of the gross domestic product for the preceding calendar year with exceptions for times of congressionally declared war and a concurrent resolution approved by a three-fifths vote of the Senate and a two-thirds vote of the House.
Rep. Roby said any tax reform measure must in her opinion contain four elements: lower tax rates, lower corporate taxes, a simpler tax base, and revamping the Internal Revenue Service.
“We need an agency that works for the taxpayer, not against them,” she said.