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Delivering the Weekly Republican Address, Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) calls on President Obama and Senate Democrats to join House-led efforts to replace his harmful sequester – not with more tax increases, but with better, responsible spending cuts that put our budget on a path to balance in 10 years.  Rep. Roby, now in her second term representing Alabama’s Second Congressional District, serves on the House Armed Services Committee.

NOTE: The Weekly Republican Address is embargoed until 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, February 16, 2013. The audio is accessible now, and video of the address will be available to view and download once the embargo is lifted.  A full transcript follows.

“Hello, I’m Martha Roby.  It is my honor to represent Alabama’s Second Congressional District.

“As you may know, a series of deep, across-the-board military spending cuts known as ‘the sequester’ will go into effect in less than two weeks.  In his State of the Union address, President Obama himself admitted that these cuts were a 'really bad idea.'  What the President failed to mention was that the sequester was his idea, proposed by his administration during the debt limit negotiations in 2011.  And now we in the House, on behalf of our constituents, are calling on the president to join us in replacing his sequester with better, more responsible spending cuts. 

“Just this week, top military commanders testified on Capitol Hill and confirmed what I had feared from the beginning about how the president’s sequester will hurt military installations in Alabama and around the country. 

“My district is home to Fort Rucker, the primary flight training base for Army Aviation.  If the president’s sequester takes effect, Fort Rucker would lose 500 students training to be combat aviators and roughly 37,000 hours of aviation training. These numbers are astounding.  And remember, this is just one set of cuts at one base. 

“There is a smarter way to reduce the size of government than to slash defense spending, threaten national security and hurt military families.  In fact, the Republican-led House has already voted twice to replace the president’s sequester with targeted spending cuts based on real budget priorities.

“Unfortunately, the Democratic-run Senate never acted on either bill.  And, as the clock is ticking towards his devastating sequester, the President has failed to put forward a plan to prevent it.  Why?  Because President Obama and Senate Democrats see his sequester as an opportunity to push through another tax increase.  If you’re feeling a sense of déjà vu, you’re not alone. After all, the ink has barely dried on the tax hikes the president pushed through in January.

“No one in Washington should be talking about raising your taxes when the federal government is still spending billions of dollars on things like giving people free cell phones.  And it is a shame that our Commander-in-Chief is using the military he leads as leverage in an ideological crusade for higher taxes.  These games have got to stop.

“Our goal every day in Washington should be coming together on issues like creating jobs for hardworking American families, reining in our out-of-control debt, and ensuring America maintains a strong national defense.  To meet these goals, we can come together now to replace the president’s sequester – not with more tax increases, but with better, more responsible spending cuts that put our budget on a path to balance in 10 years.

“Thank you for your time.  May God bless the men and women of our Armed Forces and may God continue to bless the United States of America.”