News Center

Dear Friends,

This week I made a personal announcement that I am in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. My diagnosis has not impacted my ability to represent the state of Georgia in the U.S. Senate. I feel good, and I am facing this challenge head on. I am busier and have more responsibility today than ever before in my political career, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

I felt it was important to share this news with you and to handle my personal health challenge with the same transparency that I have championed throughout my career. I remain devoted to public service, to my state, to you and to all of my constituents. I am eager to take my record of results to the voters of Georgia as I run for re-election in 2016.

I have been overwhelmed, moved and more energized than ever by so many of your positive and encouraging words this week. My wife Dianne and I thank you. 

Compensation to the American Victims of the Iran Hostage Crisis
I was thrilled this week by the unanimous passage of legislation that would compensate the Americans who were held hostage in Iran for 444 days from 1979-1981, out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

This been one of my top priorities as a public servant to see to it that these Americans who were serving our country in Iran and were forced to endure unimaginable fear, despair and torture receive overdue compensation for their suffering and sacrifice. The Iran hostages sacrificed mightily for our country, and I urge the Senate to swiftly pass this legislation to demonstrate our support to the brave men and women who represent our country abroad. Three of these former hostages live in Georgia. 

An End to South African Tariffs on American Poultry
Last Friday, after more than a year of negotiations, I was excited to announce that an agreement was reached to end South Africa’s tariffs on U.S. poultry. The agreement is welcome news for the entire U.S. poultry industry, including the large poultry operations in Georgia. American poultry products are expected to enter the South African market before the end of 2015 after being blocked from that market for the past 15 years. This is a huge win for our state! 

Protecting our Sportsmen and the Environment
As a fisherman and one who seeks to preserve Georgia’s outdoors for recreation, I was pleased to co-sponsor the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015. This legislation will protect and strengthen opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting, while advancing efforts to conserve land and water. 

Funding for Denver VA Hospital
Also this week, the Senate passed legislation that will allow the construction of the new Department of Veterans’ Affairs medical center in Denver to continue. The legislation authorizes the VA to use $150 million in its existing fiscal year 2015 budget for the project and avoid a looming shutdown on June 12, 2015.

This project is about making sure Colorado veterans get the care they deserve. Congress has now done everything that it can to ensure the continuation of this project, and it is now time for the VA and the Obama administration to clean up the mess they’ve made with the outrageous cost overruns on this project. 

Providing Patient-Centered Care
On Thursday, Senator Mark R. Warner, D-Va., and I introduced The Care Planning Act of 2015, which would create a Medicare benefit for patient-centered care planning for people with serious illness.

This legislation will provide individuals who have been diagnosed with a serious or life-threatening illness and their loved ones an opportunity to have face-to-face conversations with their doctors, nurses and religious advisors to develop plan for care. I know from my own experience with my parents that having a plan makes a world of difference in ensuring a high quality of life during a loved one’s last days. 

Come Visit D.C.
It was a pleasure to have so many visitors this week in my Washington, D.C. office. I always enjoy meeting with constituents, and I hope that the next time you are in D.C. you will stop by, too

Open Office Day in Greene County
On June 29, 2015, my field representative Daniela Belton will hold an open office day for Greene County and the surrounding area. Daniela will be in the conference room of the Greene County Government Office, 1034 Silver Drive, Greensboro, Ga., 30642 from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

What’s on Tap?

The Senate will continue consideration Fiscal Year 2016 Defense Authorization Bill. This bill will provide a blueprint for defense spending priorities to support our troops, and is critical to our national security and our troops.

I hope everyone will take the time to wish the United States Military a Happy 240th Birthday on June 14, 2015. I would like to express to our brave soldiers and their dedicated families how very proud I am of their loyalty and devotion to our country. May we never forget to be grateful for the freedom made possible by our service members. On this day and every day, may God bless our veterans and their families and may God bless America! 

Sincerely,
Johnny Isakson