News Center

A Weekly e-Newsletter from
Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA)

September 30, 2005

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to announce that on Thursday the Senate confirmed Judge John Roberts to become the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and he was sworn in later that same day. Judge Roberts has demonstrated over and over again why he is a superb nominee, and on Tuesday, I spoke in favor of his nomination on the Senate floor. I was honored to cast my vote yesterday on behalf of the people of Georgia to confirm Judge Roberts as the 17th Chief Justice of the United States in the history of our country. This decision was an easy one. John Roberts is a class act. He is an intellect. He is an honorable man. He is a man who, when the cases of justice in America are decided before our Supreme Court, will call it as he sees it, listen to both sides, rule on the law, and understand the Constitution.

Also this week, I announced that I am cosponsoring legislation to help expand U.S. oil refining capacity and create job opportunities in the wake of the damage to U.S. refineries from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Specifically, the Gas Petroleum Refiner Improvement and Community Empowerment Act will provide incentives to build oil refineries at Base Closure and Realignment Commission sites through the Economic Development Administration. This will expand our nation's refining capacity while creating job opportunities in areas where a military facility has been closed or designated for closure. Encouraging the creation of new refineries is one crucial step to addressing the challenges of our nation's energy supply and to creating jobs. With skyrocketing gas prices and the damage to our refineries from these two hurricanes, we must seek every way possible to increase U.S. refining capacity.

I am pleased with the progress we continue to make on the Employee Pension Preservation Act, a bill I introduced with Senator Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) in April to protect airline employee pensions and protect the American taxpayers. Most of the provisions of my bill have been incorporated into a broader pension bill that is expected to come to the Senate floor next week. Now that Delta Air Lines and Northwest have filed for bankruptcy, Congress must act quickly to salvage the pensions for which airline employees have worked so long and so hard. Our swift action also will protect the American taxpayer from having to assume the liability for these pensions.

What's on Tap for Next Week?

Next week, the Senate will consider pension reform legislation and continue debate on the Department of Defense appropriations bill.

Johnny Isakson