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Opinion | What I’m hearing on the road

Part of my job as your Representative in Congress is to listen to the people I have the privilege of working for and to ensure that you have a direct voice in Washington as we debate policy that impacts your everyday life. While I hear from my constituents when Congress is in session through letters, phone calls, emails, meetings, and social media, the time I get to spend having in-person conversations back at home is truly invaluable.

With Congress out of session for the Easter district work period, I have the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks on the road in Alabama visiting with constituents and hearing directly from you. In the first week of this district work period I spent time in Troy, Elba, Geneva, Montgomery, Dothan, and Greenville.

My visits covered a wide range of topics, including efforts to crack down on human trafficking and crimes against children as well as how to train students to be smart Internet users in the era of evolving technology. In addition to those topics, the economy and the positive impact of tax reform on local businesses in our area has been a common theme of discussion during my conversations on the road.

You have heard me say it many times, but I believe that getting the government out of the way and reforming our complicated, burdensome tax code is the key to helping hardworking Alabamians have successful businesses and good-paying jobs. I was proud to join my Republican colleagues in Congress and the Trump Administration in delivering on our promise to make both of these priorities a reality. Finally, under our unified Republican government, businesses are seeing real tax relief as well as reprieve from the onslaught of harmful rules and regulations imposed during the eight years of the Obama Administration.

Many people may not have known this, but the effective tax rate for businesses in our country was among the highest in the world before President Trump signed our historic tax reform bill into law. When I visited Ben E. Keith Company in Elba, I was glad to hear that our tax plan has helped their business tremendously. During the debates on tax reform, I heard regularly from businesses that one major hurdle of our outdated tax code was the difficulty businesses faced when looking to reinvest in their company. This roadblock created by our old tax laws stalled expansion and ultimately hindered new job creation. The investments that companies like Ben E. Keith are now able to make as a direct result of tax reform will allow them to generate additional economic growth in our local communities.

This story of tax reform success in our own backyard is one of many we have heard recently and highlights just how big of a deal this tax overhaul is for Alabamians and all Americans. In addition to businesses seeing a lower tax rate, our plan also lowers individual tax rates and roughly doubles the standard deduction. That means the average family of four will see an estimated $2,100 in tax relief annually. It’s your money to begin with, and I am confident that you know how to spend it better than the federal government does.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law only a few short months ago, and we have already seen many positive results. I am certain that as time goes on we will continue to see our economy grow and thrive due to our shared conservative principles finally being put into place. I will continue to keep you informed on my travel throughout the remainder of this district work period, so be sure to follow along onFacebookTwitter, and my weekly e-newsletter for real-time updates.

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Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama with her husband Riley and their two children.

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