U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Alabama, told members of the Alabama Farmers Federation in Washington today that farmers and other businesses create jobs, and she promised to help reduce government regulations that stand in their way of doing that.
About 150 Alabama farmers are participating in the Federation's Annual Washington Legislative Conference in the nation's capitol this week. Roby, a freshman congresswoman who serves on the House Agriculture Committee, is co-sponsor of a resolution to reduce many environmental regulations that she said go far beyond congressional intent.
HR 872, known as the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act, was passed by the House Agriculture Committee last week. Roby said she looks forward to its vote on the House floor. The legislation maintains safety for consumers and the environment, but it also prevents overburdening regulations for farmers and business owners, she said.
"We in Congress are very frustrated with this agency (Environmental Protection Agency) and others that are overreaching their authority," Roby said. "Every committee is intent on hearing from these agencies and reviewing how they are overburdening our farmers and small businesses. Those agencies are preventing job creation in the United States of America. We know that you (farmers) help create jobs. The government doesn't create jobs, and we won't allow this kind of activity to go unchecked."
Those remarks and others by Roby generated thunderous applause from the Alabama group. Monica and Chris Carroll of Ariton in Dale County are attending the conference and said they were encouraged by Roby's remarks. The Carrolls have a diversified farm that includes poultry, beef cattle and vegetables.
"We'll be out of business if the government keeps hitting us with so many regulations," said Monica Carroll. "It's very important that members of Congress remember that small businesses and agriculture are what drive the country. Last year, agriculture was the only trade surplus that America had. We need to make sure that these regulations don't put us under."
Roby promised to keep farmers in mind as she casts her votes on various committees and on the House floor.
"It is our jobs as your representatives, and as members of the committees we serve, to ensure that we are doing everything we can do to let our farmers farm, and that means getting government out of the way so you can do what you love to do," Roby said.