News Center

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

September 23, 2005

Dear Friends,

This week, I was pleased to announce that the Georgia Department of Labor received a $3 million grant to provide assistance for Hurricane Katrina evacuees in Georgia .  Our st ate now has approximately 35,000 families from the Gulf Coa st , including more than 9,000 st udents who have enrolled in Georgia 's public schools. The Department of Labor grant will help fund temporary employment to assi st disa st er relief efforts, including supporting shelter operations and assi st ing with humanitarian efforts. It will also provide payments for those who are not receiving Disa st er Unemployment Assi st ance or unemployment insurance.  The evacuees of Hurricane Katrina need all the support we can give them, and the st ate of Georgia cannot handle this burden without federal assi st ance.

Also this week, I have been working with the Senate leadership to try to push for a vote on legislation that would help protect the pensions of airline employees such as those at Delta Air Lines whose companies have filed for bankruptcy. It is critical that we pass legislation so that the employees can receive the pensions they have worked so hard for and so that the American taxpayers can be protected from having to assume a huge financial burden if these airline pensions become the responsibility of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

La st Saturday, I, along with the Georgia Congressional Delegation, ho st ed the Georgia Delegation fall Academy Day at Naval Air Station (NAS) Atlanta .  While I have ho st ed my own Academy Day since I was elected to Congress, this was the fir st time the entire delegation worked together to let st udents across Georgia know about the range of options for attending our nation's military academies.  Representatives from each academy spoke to 750 Georgia high school st udents and families from as far south as Glynn County about their respective school's hi st ory, admission policy and what st udents could expect from attending each school.  As I told the st udents in attendance, many of my former academy nominees have used our Academy Day to decide which in st allation is the right choice for them.  I also took the opportunity to remind everyone that our deadline for nominations is October 21 st at 5 p.m. and to please visit my website for additional information.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send to the Senate floor for a vote the nomination of Ju st ice John Roberts to become the Chief Ju st ice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Roberts will be voted on by the full Senate next week, and it is my hope that partisan politics will not prevail on this important nomination. Judge Roberts has demon st rated over and over again why he is a superb nominee, and I look forward to voting to confirm him for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Also on Thursday, Georgia received good news in the 2006 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Admini st ration and Related Agencies Appropriation bill funding resources for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The bill includes $200,000 in funding for a water quality st udy of the Altamaha River Basin; over $1 million in funding projects for Athens, including $625,000 for the Wildlife Gamebird Re st oration Project and funding to continue research on avian influenza and avian pneumovirus; over $700,000 in funding for several projects in Byron, including a $200,000 increase for research that will focus on how to minimize the large economic losses to pecans by insects and mites; over $283,000 in funding for peanut p rod uction and research in Dawson; and $3.57 million in funding for soil and water conservation programs for the Flint River Basin in southwe st Georgia . I am pleased the Senate saw fit to support these and a number of other worthy projects in Georgia .

In addition, this week the Senate passed the 2006 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill.  If approved by a joint House-Senate Conference Committee, Fort Benning in Columbus would receive $20.90 million for a new training facility, $4.3 million for an Infantry Platoon Battle Course, $1.2 million for a Shoot House and another $1.7 million for a Shoot House to be used by the U.S. Army Special Forces Command.  Fort Stewart in Hinesville would receive $37.5 million for a barracks complex, $1.2 million for a shoot house, $1.3 million for an urban assault course, $17.8 million for vehicle maintenance shop, $16.6 million for a new elementary school and $10 million for a Special Operation Forces equipment maintenance complex. Additionally, Kings Bay will receive $3 million to further improve their waterfront operations and security while Fort Gordon in Augu st a will receive $61 million for a regional security operations center and $4.6 million for a military police complex. Finally, MCLB in Albany will receive $4 million for combat vehicle maintenance and preservation facility, and Robins Air Force Base will receive $2 million for an approach lighting sy st em.

This large inve st ment in Georgia 's military in st allations is very good news for Georgia , and I am very pleased to see such a st rong commitment to them from Washington

What's on Tap for Next Week?

Next week, the Senate will vote on Judge John Roberts' nomination to the Chief Ju st ice position on the U.S. Supreme Court and possibly vote on an Airline Pension Bill.

Johnny Isakson