• 37°

Roby highlights economy at Rotary

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) served as the Greenville Rotary Club’s guest speaker Thursday afternoon, where she issued words of assurance amidst a tumultuous political landscape.

“Despite what you all see on TV, I want you to know that there are a lot of really good things happening,” Roby said. “And there are good things that our country and the American people have to be proud of.”

After expressing a great deal of frustration at the U.S. Senate–particularly its Democrat members– Roby shifted gears to discuss the successes of conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives, beginning with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Roby went on to say that, under the new tax law, the average American family of four would see about $2,100 in tax relief not just in one year, but annually.

The ultimate impact of the tax bill has been hotly disputed before, during and since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s passing, though Roby remains confident in the law.

“And I’m sure all of you saw and heard all of the misinformation and negativity that came out in the media prior to us passing the law, and it really did generate a lot of confusion about what we were doing,” Roby said.

“Regardless, I’m very, very confident that we will continue to see positive results, and those positive results will speak for themselves. And the American people will know who is telling you the truth when they see more of their own money in their bank accounts and they continue to experience this growing economy.”

Roby outlined other efforts of the U.S. House of Representatives, including illegal immigration and the ongoing battle with sanctuary cities, the opioid epidemic and the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

Most recently, House members took aim at passing tougher penalties for sex and human trafficking crimes, which Roby said hits far closer to home than many realize.

“Most of us in our minds think that this is something that happens far, far away from here, but it is not,” she said. “It is happening right here in plain sight.  Women and children are being sold as sex slaves in this country—in this state—every single day. 

“We have to end sex and human trafficking.  This is modern-day slavery, and it’s horrific.”

Roby also discussed Alabama’s improving job force, citing 300,000 new jobs last month and 200,000 in January.

Coupled with the pending arrival of Kimber Manufacturing, a gun manufacturer that is poised to bring 360 new jobs to the Troy region, a Wayne Farms expansion set to add 400 jobs in Enterprise, a $184 million investment of Shaw Industry Group into its Andalusia manufacturing facility and the naming of Montgomery’s Dannelly Field Air Guard Station as the home for a fleet of F-35A jets, Roby said that things are looking up for Alabama.

“The men and women of the 187th Fighter Wing at Dannelly have proven themselves to be capable, professional and the most efficient place for the Air Force to choose to locate this highly coveted mission,” Roby said.

“Analysts are saying that this could equate to 1,000 jobs and $3 billion of capital investment into our state, and that’s just the beginning.”

There remain questions and challenges both on a local and national level, as Roby acknowledged the cloud of uncertainty hanging over many American businesses in the wake of President Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs.

Greenville mayor Dexter McLendon asked Thursday on behalf of Greenville’s South Korean business partners, including Hwashin, about the potential effects of the tariffs in Butler County.

“I’m going to update you as we learn more information about the processes,” Roby said to McLendon.

“I’m hearing what you’re hearing of the exemption of countries and exemption processes that would relate to certain types of industry.  [We’re still learning] how this is going to affect not just an industry in Alabama, but also any potential rising cost of U.S. steel production. And it’s being brought to my attention that there are countries already seeing the effects from this.”