Roby vows to fight for better VA

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 3, 2015

Doris Tyler talks to Rep. Martha Roby at Wednesday’s Legislative Update.

Doris Tyler talks to Rep. Martha Roby at Wednesday’s Legislative Update.

Rep. Martha Roby said she is frustrated with how things are going in Washington, D.C., at Wednesday’s Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce Legislative Update.

“We asked you to help us win the majority in the House,” she said. “And then we asked you to help us win the majority in the Senate, but it doesn’t feel like much has changed.”

Roby spoke about military funding, Veterans Affairs, the Clinton emails, Iran and Planned Parenthood.

The representative has been a strong opponent of military budget cuts.

“It is shameful to try to balance the budget on the backs of our military,” she said. “We need to have the best and most-well equipped military.”

Roby said that if the full effects of sequestration go into effect it will be devastating to the military.

She said senior military leaders are having to make decisions on what to cut.

“It’s not an accident that Vladimir Putin has raised his head,” she said. “It’s not an accident that ISIS is here.”

Roby used an analogy from Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said that everyone wants to play with a team of 12, but the military is playing with a team of seven and a team who has never practiced together.

“This is my priority,” she said.

Roby discussed working to tackle the issues with the Central Alabama Veterans Healthcare System.

Roby worked to expose instances of mismanagement and malfeasance at CAVHS, which led to the director’s firing, but challenges lie ahead.

Roby told the crowd gathered that she has a bill that would require the national VA to take over failing VA systems like those in Montgomery and Tuskegee.

Roby said there were thousands of X-rays unread at the VA, pulmonary records that were altered, and that an employee took a veteran to a crack house.

“Guys, that is not the United States of America that you and I know,” she said. “We owe it to them that they have the best.”

One veteran in the crowd told Roby he had waited two years to get a knee operation and had been given the run around.

Another veteran told Roby he had recently lost his VA benefits.

Roby also spoke about the vote to disapprove President Barack Obama’s pending nuclear agreement with Iran.

“No deal is better than this,” she said. “This is very, very bad.”

Roby said it was ridiculous to support this agreement when Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism and encourages chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”

As part of the deal Iran will:

• Keep its uranium enrichment levels at no more than 3.67 percent, down from near 20 percent;

• Maintain a uranium stockpile under 300 kilograms. It currently has 10,000 kilograms.

• Not have any nuclear material at its Fordow facility for 15 years, converting that site “into a nuclear, physics and technology center.”

• Limit certain research and development for the next eight years;

• Ship spent fuel outside of its borders.

The president said recently that the deal is not built on trust, but on verification.

“Inspectors will have 24/7 access to Iran’s key facilities.

Roby said in some cases it would be 24 days before access would be granted to inspectors.

“The current sanctions have been working,” she said. “That’s why Iran is at the table now.”

She also spoke about Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails dealing with Bengahzi.

Roby is a member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

“People are beginning to realize why the committee wants answers,” she said. “The state department has been stonewalling us.”

Roby said they are searching for answers to what happened before, during and after the Bengahzi attacks in Libya.

“We deserve to know for the four Americans who were killed and the American people,” she said. “I’m sorry us searching for answers is getting in the way of Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign.”

Clinton is set to testify in October before the committee.

Roby also discussed Planned Parenthood and the need to defund the organization.

Roby encouraged her constituents to watch at least the first of the videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, which focus on the Planned Parenthood and StemExpress’ relationship, which allege that the organization has violated federal laws during their abortion procedures.

Roby said the actions of Planned Parenthood are deplorable.

“I have been talking directly to my colleagues,” she said. “We want the senate to get on the floor and vote and have it on record. The House has voted to defund Planned Parenthood every time.”