By Jimmy Sailors
Editor's note: U.S. Rep. Martha Roby is visiting the Wiregrass during her first district workweek since her election last November. The Republican congresswoman answered the following questions while at her congressional office in Dothan on Thursday afternoon.
Q: Do you agree with a Florida judge's ruling that the federal health care law is unconstitutional?
A: I do. I have maintained from the very beginning that this health care law that has in it a mandate, a requirement, that you and I purchase certain types of insurance is unconstitutional and I agree with the judge's ruling and am very hopeful that the Supreme Court will affirm that decision.
Q: What steps should Congress take to balance the budget?
A: We have a lot. Well, look, I'm committed to cutting spending. We're going to have to go about this a variety of different ways. You and I tighten our belts at home and have been over the course of the past couple of years, and we're going to require the federal government to do the same. So we, in our pledge to America, have committed to $100 billion in spending cuts off the bat. We started with our very own congressional accounts that ... have been cut by 5 percent, and will continue to look for opportunities to do so. In the coming months there are three very important votes -- the continuing resolution, the debt ceiling and the budget. All of these are opportunities to cut spending. And certainly we have to root out waste and inefficiency and duplication to do so. Everybody says "cut, cut, cut," but don't cut me. Well, it's going to be difficult decisions, and we're all going to have to tighten our belts.
Q: Do you think Congress and the White House can work together to rein in spending?
A: We have to. That's why people like me ran for Congress in the beginning. It's because I have two small children at home and I want this country to look the same for them as it has for the rest of us. We are on an unsustainable path, and so we're gonna have to work together and these first few votes, this continuing resolution and this debt ceiling vote, are the perfect opportunity for the president to step up and show leadership and commit to some real spending cuts to the Congress.
Q: Is the White House headed in the right direction on jobs and the economy?
A: Clearly not, because if they were then we would have more jobs and our economy would be on track. Over the past two years we've watched this administration and Congress hand down job-killing legislation. Now, in the majority, we're trying to undo the damage that has been done. We need to part the clouds of uncertainty so that those who have the ability to create jobs will do so.
Q: Does the Social Security program need to evolve?
A: We need to do everything that we can possibly do to save Social Security, to keep the contract between those who've paid into it and the government. And certainly there are some serious family discussions that are going to have to be made in the very near future as it relates to saving Social Security.
Q: How high is Fort Rucker, and the jobs that it provides, on your priority list?
A: Well, I lobbied extremely hard to (the) leadership in the House in order to secure a seat on the House Armed Services Committee. We have had a representative on that committee for nearly 50 consecutive years. This is extremely vital to the military installations that we have, certainly including Fort Rucker, and my job on that committee is to not only maintain Fort Rucker but to expand the missions there. And so it is the highest priority when it comes to our military, the strength of our military, the expansion of missions and jobs in our local economy.
Q: Have the shootings in Arizona affected your attitude toward security?
A: Certainly the shootings in Arizona were a tragedy in this country We continue to pray for Gaby Giffords and all the other victims, and their families, of that incident. I will not allow that incident, that tragedy, to deter me from being with and spending time with the people that I represent. This week is a prime example. This is my first district workweek, a robust workweek. It has been 27 stops in five days. Insuring that I sit down with the people I represent, that is the only way that I can properly advocate on your behalf, is that if I'm spending time with you, listening to your concerns, so that I can take that fight for you to Washington.