Martha Roby has become a star.
In the weeks since the Nov. 2 election, Roby – 34-year-old former Montgomery councilwoman who defeated Democratic Rep. Bobby Bright – has become one of the media darlings of the Republican freshman class, making the rounds of various news outlets.
Perhaps the cameras like her because she was the only Alabama Republican who faced a real fight in a Congressional race this year. Or maybe folks are amazed because she did the unthinkable – turning Alabama’s heavily-GOP Congressional delegation even redder.
Fame comes at a price, and so does any hard-won political position. In her battle with Bright, Roby left behind a string of promises. Some, like her pledge to abolish the IRS, may have been calculated to appeal to Tea Party voters who supported her primary opponent Rick Barber. Others, like her promise not to lay a finger on Social Security, may have been calculated to assure liberals in District 2 that she’s not a scary budget-slasher.
And in one area – health care – she plays a little bit of both roles. Roby pledged to repeal health care, but also promised to push for some of the same reforms that wound up in the bill, such as an end to bans on patients with pre-existing conditions.
Roby’s promises, and what exactly they mean, became the subject of much speculation in the general election.
The Dothan Eagle took a close look at Roby's campaign rhetoric and made a list of her promises. Bama Fact Check will look in on these promises in coming months to see how many Roby has kept.
1. Supports ending pre-existing conditions as exclusion from receiving health insurance benefits
2. Vote against Cap and Trade
3. Vote to defund health care reform
4. Reduce dependence on foreign oil
5. Reduce government spending
6. Support a Balanced Budget Amendment
7. Support a line-item veto
8. Support ending earmark process “as we know it” by increasing transparency, and eliminating waste and corruption
9. Oppose government bailouts and takeovers of private companies
10. Support the requirement of budgets to be submitted for Social Security and Medicare, and subject them to reauthorization and review
11. Require that all legislation be posted online for 72 hours before debate so the public – and Congress – can read the bill
12. Require that every piece of legislation begins with an explanation of its Constitutionality
13. Maintain defense spending at least 4% of Gross Domestic Product for the foreseeable future
14. Support missile defense programs
15. Reform the tax code
16. Support abolishing “death tax.”
17. Oppose raising retirement age for Social Security benefits
18. Oppose cutting of Social Security benefits
19. Oppose increase in payroll taxes for Social Security benefits
20. Oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants
IN HER OWN WORDS:
-- Eliminate the U.S. Department of Education, but keep federal grants to states intact.
Question: ““Is there one federal department or agency you would just get rid of entirely?”
Roby: “You want an example? An example would be the U.S. Department of Education.”
-- No change to citizens’ contribution, no cut to benefits, no increase in retirement age
“I oppose raising the retirement age. I oppose cutting benefits. I oppose increasing payroll taxes.” (Source: www.martharoby.com)
-- No privatization
“I oppose privatization of Social Security.” (Source: www.martharoby.com)
-- Abolish the IRS
“Congress should streamline the way Americans pay taxes and I know a better way is to eliminate the current tax structure and reduce the federal bureaucracy needed to enforce the existing tax code by abolishing the IRS as we know it” (Source: www.martharoby.com)
-- Make permanent the elimination of the estate tax
“I support permanently eliminating the ‘death tax’ to allow the family farm to be passed on to the next generation without the threat of a massive tax penalty.” (Source: www.martharoby.com)
-- Self-employed to get same health insurance tax break as employers
“I support reforms to the tax code so that individuals and the self-employed who purchase their own insurance receive the same tax credits employers receive for providing health insurance to their employees.” (Source: www.martharoby.com)
-- A push for more bio-fuels based on agricultural products
“I support Alabama farmers and their efforts to wean America off of foreign oil through the expanded availability and use of alternative fuels. Alternative fuels, including bio-fuels, hold enormous promise for our state, and if readily available, can be an efficient, affordable source of energy.” (Source: www.martharoby.com)
-- Preserving programs to help farmers in tough growing seasons
“I believe our national security depends on a safe and healthy food supply, so our farmers must be assured programs are available to see them through tough growing seasons impacted by drought, freezing temperatures and other natural elements that destroy our crops.” (Source: www.martharoby.com)
-- Opening new markets for Alabama products… somewhere
“I know there is a better way to preserve Alabama’s rich agriculture history, and I’ll support developments of new markets for our agriculture products and will assure that they get a fair opportunity to compete in the global marketplace.” (Source: www.martharoby.com)
-- Stiffer penalties for those who use guns in commission of a crime
“Emphasis needs to be placed on keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and severely increasing the punishment for anyone convicted of committing a crime with the use of a gun.”(Source: www.martharoby.com)
-- Abolition of Obama’s health care reform
“I am committed to not only defund, repeal, and replace this bill, but also to find common sense solutions to make health care more affordable, accessible, and portable.” (Source:www.martharoby.com)
-- Allowing purchase of health care across state lines
“I support allowing Americans to purchase health care plans across state lines, much like life insurance plans, in order to increase competition among insurance companies.” (Source: www.martharoby.com)
-- Portable health plans
“I believe health insurance should be portable, that is the policy belongs to the individual much like a person’s 401k. Americans shouldn’t lose their coverage regardless of whether a person changes jobs, moves across the country or retires. “ (Source: www.martharoby.com)
-- High risk pools, Associated Health Plans
“Creating high-risk pools and Associated Health Plans will grant access to these individuals by joining together with others in order to bring down costs.” (Source: www.martharoby.com)
-- End pre-existing condition exclusions
“Also, any health care reforms should end pre-existing conditions exclusions that have stopped so many Americans from getting insurance.” (Source: www.martharoby.com)