By MARTHA ROBY, Congressman, Alabama’s 2nd District
Sixteen years ago, when I was 26 years old, my husband Riley and I prayerfully decided I would put my name on the ballot for the first time. Never could we have imagined that the decision to run for the Montgomery City Council would lead us to serve five terms in the United States House of Representatives. Riley and I, and our children, Margaret and George, will be forever grateful for this privilege of serving our country and the people of Alabama’s Second District.
I cannot adequately express how deeply thankful I am for the confidence the people of southeast Alabama have placed in me to represent and lead them since January 5, 2011. After much prayer and consideration, Riley and I have decided it is time to close this wonderful chapter. As we prepare to do so, I join my family in offering a humble and very sincere “thank you” to the people I am honored to represent in Congress. I also extend my deepest thanks to the many people in my life who made this work possible.
To Riley, Margaret, and George: Thank you for your unwavering service, sacrifice, and support. You, too, have served your country, and you have done it with grace every step of the way. I thank the Lord every day for you, and I look forward to what God has in store for us.
To Mom, Dad, Libba, and Jimmy, and all our family and friends: Thank you for being our village. Each of you has valued the important work we have done, and you all have supported us along the way.
To my colleagues in Congress: Many of you are now some of our closest and dearest friends, and we thank you. Thank you for your encouragement and counsel over the years. Riley and I will treasure our relationships with each of you for many years to come.
Throughout my time in Congress, I have cast every vote with the guiding principle that Alabama always comes first. Alabama’s priorities have been my priorities, and together, we have been able to deliver some incredible accomplishments for:
Our military. After years of work, the 187th Fighter Wing at Dannelly Field will soon receive the coveted F-35 Joint Strike Fighter mission. We successfully pushed back against an Air Force plan to reduce the number of C-130s from the 908th Airlift Wing at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery. With Maxwell’s Air University and its components, the River Region’s military footprint continues to lead our dedicated servicemembers into the future. Through two presidential administrations, we ensured strong funding for the Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, and today, we have every confidence that Fort Rucker will continue to play a key role in our national security for many years to come. Together, we have fought against sequestration and dangerous military funding cuts that threaten readiness, making certain that America’s Armed Forces remain the tip of the spear.
Our veterans. We uncovered several horrific instances of misconduct, mismanagement, and negligence that led to Central Alabama’s Veteran Health Care System being recognized as one of the nation’s worst veterans health care facilities. Since those startling reports were made public five years ago, we have worked tirelessly to replace leadership officials and address the VA’s failures. Tremendous work remains to be done on behalf of our veterans, but we have made some progress toward turning around a deeply broken, bureaucratic system.
Our farmers. Throughout my five terms serving Alabama’s Second District, I have always served as a leading voice in advocacy for our agriculture sector, including work on two farm bills. We also recently made available disaster recovery funds for the men and women who experienced extreme devastation when Hurricane Michael made landfall during harvest last October. Agriculture is our state’s largest employer, and together, we have strengthened the programs that our agriculture community depends on to produce the food and fiber that feeds our country and the world.
The unborn. By now, I hope it’s no secret that I am unapologetically pro-life. I have used this platform given to me in Congress to speak out on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves. I have consistently supported pro-life efforts in Congress, from offering amendments to federal funding bills to curtail any type of funds towards organizations that provide abortions, to giving speeches on the House floor standing up for all of us in the pro-life community, and to meeting with local organizations here in Alabama about efforts to provide resources supporting pregnant mothers and adoption services. Life is precious at every stage, and I am proud of the work we have accomplished for the unborn.
While these are all great accomplishments, some of the most important work my office does happens daily for the people who call us needing help, whether it be requesting assistance with the VA or another federal agency, voicing an opinion, or securing tours of the United States Capitol building and other national landmarks. My phone lines and my doors are open to each person I represent, and I encourage you to contact one of my offices if we can ever be of assistance to you in the days and months ahead.
Over the last nine years, we have put Alabama first and delivered results for the American people, and we are not finished yet. While my name will not be on the ballot in 2020, I remain committed to continuing the fight for Alabama and the people I represent in the Second District until I cast my last vote on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. Until January 2021, I will continue the important work we started over nine years ago.
Thank you, again, for giving me the privilege and honor of representing you. May God bless you, and may He continue to bless the United States of America.