The Ripon Forum

Volume 52, No. 2

April 2018

Ripon Profile of Martha Roby

By on April 24, 2018

Name: Martha Roby

Occupation: U.S. Representative (R), Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District

First job & the lesson(s) you learned from it: The summer after my junior year in high school I worked as a girls’ camp counselor. I really learned about the importance of developing meaningful relationships with both the people you work with and the people you work for.

Lesson(s) in life that you’re now trying to impress upon your kids: As a mother of a 9-year old and a 12-year old who are growing up in the social media age, I consistently try to impress upon them the importance of being kind to other people.  With online bullying so rampant among children their age, I always want them to remember that kindness is often the most important and meaningful thing you can give to another person.

As a working Mom, what advice do you have for others who are trying to balance their job at the office & their family at home? I believe work-life balance is one of the most significant challenges Americans face, and it’s very important that we try our best to get it right. For me personally, I try to carve out specific, set-aside time for my family to be together – without distractions – each week, no matter how busy work is. My advice for others facing the same challenge is to find what works for you and stick to it. We aren’t nearly as effective professionally if we are neglecting life and responsibilities at home.

Speaking of your job, you’re a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee & helped push through a near-record increase in defense spending. Why is it so important to invest in our military this year?  I am very grateful to serve as a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Alabama’s Second District and our entire state have a large military footprint, and I’m glad to have a seat at the table in crafting the funding that impacts the vital work they do every day. While far from perfect, the Omnibus bill – now law – restored military funding to the proper levels and provided our troops with the biggest pay raise they’ve received in eight years. The world we live in today is dangerous, and new threats to our national security emerge daily. During these times of uncertainty, it is imperative that we properly support and fund our military so that the men and women who wear the uniform are adequately prepared and equipped to do their jobs and keep us safe. I’m proud that after eight long years of damaging cuts due to sequestration, we’re finally funding our military at the appropriate level.

Looking back on some of the other challenges you’ve worked on over the past few years, what are some of the accomplishments that really stand out?  Most people who know me know that I am unapologetically pro-life, and I consider it my enduring responsibility in Congress to fight for life at all stages. I have fought this fight alongside my pro-life colleagues for the last eight years, but often we came up short. Now that we have an Administration that has taken up this fight with us, we are beginning to make real progress. I consider it a great accomplishment that the Omnibus bill that was recently signed into law contains provisions that restrict taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions and research using the tissue obtained from aborted babies. As a country, we must begin assigning greater protections to life under the law.  I’m very proud of our recent accomplishments, and I’m eager to see the momentum continue.

Additionally, this Congress I was given the opportunity to serve on the House Judiciary Committee. In this new role, I have made it a point to work on legislation that cracks down on our country’s horrific human trafficking problem. This is a very real issue right here in the United States, and over the last year we have made great strides in combatting it. Just recently, the President signed into law the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. I was proud to support this legislation that heightens criminal penalties for websites that promote and participate in the buying and selling of human beings. I look forward to continuing our work against these atrocious practices.

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