Exclusive Q&A with U.S. Rep. Martha Roby: Delivering results for Alabama

Rep. Martha Roby

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) has racked up a series of victories in her efforts to help grow the Alabama economy, support agriculture in her home state, and fight to strengthen military readiness.

Currently serving her fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Roby is a member of the Appropriations Committee and the Judiciary Committee.

The Congresswoman recently discussed her work to support constituents in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District with The Ripon Advance.

You’ve spent a great deal of time meeting with constituents in your home state this month. On July 6 in Brantley, Ala., for instance, you met with Mayor Bernie Sullivan and other community leaders about issues such as economic development, school safety and grant opportunities. On July 3 you participated in a roundtable at the Eufaula-Barbour County Chamber of Commerce. What do small business owners need to be successful in local Alabama communities and how do they see economic development progressing? What other feedback did you receive from local leaders regarding school safety issues? How do you plan to support the needs of your constituents on Capitol Hill?

Over the last year and a half, our unified government has worked to unleash the economy and foster growth here in the United States. As a result, our economy is booming, and Americans are working. The people I represent are confident in our economy, and rightfully so. They are seeing and feeling the results of our pro-growth policies like tax reform, and I believe they will continue to experience tremendous success as the months continue to unfold.

School safety is a tremendously important issue that has been receiving substantial national attention recently. I have been and will continue to meet with constituents on the ground who deal with this important issue on a daily basis to learn more about their needs and ideas.

Our office has an open door policy with our constituents, and I encourage anyone who has feedback about what’s going on in Congress right now to contact my office and let me know. This seat in Congress belongs to the people who live and work in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. I work for them, and constituent services remain a top priority of mine.

In meeting with more than 100 farmers on July 5 in your home state, accompanied by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, what was their consensus about the 2018 Farm Bill that you’re working on? What feedback and insight did the farmers provide you? You also recently met with U.S. Department of Agriculture staff in your state. What did they say were the top concerns and needs of farmers?

In Congress, one of my top priorities is advocating for strong agriculture policy that gives fair treatment to our Alabama commodities. I was glad that the House and Senate passed their versions of the 2018 Farm Bill, and I am grateful to have been involved in that process on behalf of the farmers in AL-02.

Throughout meetings with farmers of various commodities, I heard time and time again about the importance of maintaining a strong crop insurance program. Our farm bill does that, and I am hopeful that the final version of the bill that we send to President Trump will include a similar commitment.

At the end of the day, my job is to ensure that federal agriculture policy allows the farmers I represent to do what they do best: provide the food and fiber that feeds our state, our country and the world.

The House recently passed the FY 2019 defense funding bill. What missions would be properly funded at U.S. military installations in your home state under the bill? How would the bill’s proposed pay raise impact active-duty military residing in Alabama?

As a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I was very proud to see the House pass our Fiscal Year 2019 defense funding bill, and I am eager to see a final version sent to the president for his signature.

This funding bill provides resources for the critical missions that happen in Alabama’s 2nd District at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base and Fort Rucker. Specifically, the bill includes strong funding for Army Aviation programs and for the procurement of F-35 aircraft.

I am also very pleased that this funding bill includes a pay raise for our troops. Our service members make tremendous sacrifices to defend our country and our freedoms, and this pay increase is much deserved.

Additionally, as co-chair of both the Congressional Army Aviation Caucus and the Congressional Defense Communities Caucus – and as a member of the Congressional Air Force Caucus, Congressional National Guard and Reserve Caucus, Veterans’ Jobs Caucus, among others – what have you learned collectively that has helped inform your legislative priorities and efforts regarding members of the U.S. military? What are some of the main topics of concern discussed during caucus meetings that have been particularly noteworthy for you during this congressional session and why?

In Congress, one of my very top priorities is fighting for proper funding and support for our nation’s military. It is imperative that we ensure our men and women in uniform have everything they need when we send them into harm’s way.

One concern that remains at the forefront of conversations today is military readiness. It’s no secret that the Obama-era sequestration cuts greatly damaged our military readiness. We are steadily working to grow and strengthen our military to reverse course, but progress remains to be made. It is absolutely critical that we ensure our military remains the tip of the spear. I will continue working alongside my colleagues in Congress and the Trump Administration to rebuild and support our military.

More generally regarding the midterm elections in November, why do you want to continue serving in Congress?

I am running for reelection in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District because our work for the conservative agenda is far from being complete. I have been proud to be part of the great momentum we’ve had over the last year and a half as we’ve worked to deliver meaningful results on behalf of the American people. I believe I am well positioned to continue delivering results on behalf of our military, veterans and farmers. I also remain committed to working on the issues that are important to the people who live and work in Alabama’s 2nd District, including securing our border and fighting for life at every stage.

On a lighter note, you participated in the recent Congressional Women’s Softball Game, which pits female members of Congress against members of the Washington, D.C., press corps in a benefit event to raise funds and awareness for the Young Survival Coalition. Why is raising money for this cause meaningful to you?

One of my favorite traditions I have been able to participate in as a member of Congress is the Congressional Women’s Softball Game that takes place every summer benefiting the Young Survival Coalition. This year, we raised more than $320,000 for this important organization.

I played in honor of a young lady from Montgomery named Courtney Pruitt who is currently undergoing aggressive treatment for leukemia. This annual tradition is always a great opportunity for members on both sides of the aisle to come together for a worthy cause. I was glad to participate and look forward to next year!