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Dear Friends,

It is extremely disappointing that the U.S. Department of Defense plans to significantly reduce the Army by the end of 2017. I am demanding answers from the Department of Defense on how they are justifying these troop cuts in Georgia and throughout our nation. I have also taken steps to block a Senate vote on a presidential nomination to the Department of Defense in light of the Department’s failure to give Congress a heads up before these cuts were made public. I talked in great detail with Secretary McHugh on Wednesday and will continue to fight to see to it that we preserve every soldier in Georgia that we can. 

We cannot afford to reduce our military readiness at a time when the threats to our national security are growing at an alarming rate. Instead, we should be using our military to send a clear signal to the rest of the world that America has no intention of standing down in the fight against the threat of terrorism worldwide.

Protecting our Nation
Today marks yet another missed deadline for negotiations with Iran over a nuclear deal. A deal with Iran is going to be bad for America, bad for Israel, and we ought to leave the talks now.

It is crucial for our national security that we prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability. Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, and a nuclear-armed Iran will further destabilize a very volatile region. This is why I voted in favor of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 requiring the president to submit a final deal with Iran to Congress before reducing or removing sanctions imposed on Iran. I am also a co-sponsor of the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015, which would strengthen the current sanctions on Iran.

Also, during a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing this week, I made it clear that in any negotiations involving the Middle East, we need to stand strong with Israel to protect our nation from all threats of terrorism.  

Restoring Local Control of Education
This week, I went to the Senate floor to discuss the importance of putting education progress and decisions back in the hands of parents, teachers, and state and local governments. The Every Child Achieves Act that the Senate is now debating specifically states that the federal government cannot force states to implement a set of core academic standards, such as Common Core, that would specifically lay out what students should learn from grades K-12.

I have been working for many years to ensure that we enhance education, but turn it back over to the states where it belongs. That is exactly what the Every Child Achieves Act does, and that is why I support it.

Saving Your Tax Dollars while Protecting our Homeland
I joined many members of the Georgia Congressional delegation in calling for a federal review of a U.S. Department of State proposal to construct a new training center from scratch in Virginia instead of using an established federal training facility in Georgia that could save taxpayers millions of dollars. 

As a delegation, we asked that the U.S. Government Accountability Office conduct a complete, independent analysis of all options for meeting the State Department’s training needs, including augmenting an existing facility – the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, or FLETC for short, in Brunswick, Ga. If the Brunswick location is used it could mean significant cost savings.

Congratulations Fort Stewart
It was exciting this week to send my congratulations to U.S. Army Garrison Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Ga., on receiving the 2015 Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence for ‘outstanding and innovative efforts of the people who operate and maintain U.S. military installations.’ I particularly appreciate Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield’s post-deployment stress relief program implemented for more than 6,000 soldiers – called the Warrior Adventure Quest program – and I commend them for their foresight.

50th Anniversary of Vietnam War
I had the honor of participating in the Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Congressional Ceremony at the U.S. Capitol this week. This ceremony helps to ensure that our Vietnam veterans receive the recognition they deserve for their sacrifices during a time of uncertainty.

Click here for more pictures from the event.

What’s on Tap?

Next week, the Senate will continue debating the Every Child Achieves Act. 

Sincerely,
Johnny Isakson