WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) today said she could not support a Senate-concocted deal that increases the nation’s debt limit by half a trillion dollars with no reforms to spending, saying ineffective strategy weakened Republicans’ bargaining position.
Rep. Roby released the following statement:
“I strongly believe we must act to avoid defaulting on our debt payments and reopen the government,” Rep. Roby said. “However, I cannot support a plan that increases our nation’s debt while offering no spending reforms. Washington’s addiction to spending is what led to this mess, and piling on more debt while ignoring the spending problem is exactly the wrong approach.
“A better way forward would be honest, simple legislation that takes care of our debt needs with corresponding spending reforms, provides temporary government funding, and allows us time to work toward a real budget. I know a majority of Republicans and Democrats would ultimately support such a plan. The problem is the ‘shutdown strategy’ damaged the House’s bargaining power in these negotiations.
“I staunchly oppose ObamaCare, and I am proud to stand with those that have fought this bad policy every step of the way. That fight is not over. Especially now, as residents throughout Alabama are just learning of dramatic ObamaCare-driven premium increases, we are motivated more than ever to replace this harmful law.
“Despite my fierce opposition to ObamaCare, I have always been honest with my constituents about the improbability of repealing or defunding the law until Republicans regain control of the Senate and eventually the White House. Throughout my August and September district visits, I repeatedly warned that shutting down the government over ObamaCare was a poor strategy. I said it wouldn’t work because the sheer numbers in the Senate aren’t in our favor and Republicans don’t hold the White House. I said it would backfire, costing Republicans our momentum and damaging our prospects for the future. And, I said it would distract attention from the implementation of ObamaCare, which everyone predicted was going to be a ‘train wreck.’ As it turns out, all of this has come to pass.
“I hope conservatives can now regroup and begin work on achievable priorities that are important to regular Americans: striving to protect Americans from ObamaCare’s harmful mandates and taxes, setting sustainable spending levels that continue to drive down the deficit, and pushing a pro-growth agenda that will help create jobs for people in Alabama and throughout the country.”
The House is expected to vote Wednesday night on the Senate-passed bill. The bill authorizes funding to reopen the government through January 15, 2014 and suspends the debt limit through February 7, 2014. Based on the latest estimates from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, that time period would see the nation accrue at least $500 billion of additional debt.