News Center

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

May 13, 2005

Dear Friends,

Today, the Defense Department announced its recommendations for realigning and closing U.S. military bases across our nation.  Four Georgia bases are targeted for closure, and I joined Senator Chambliss and Governor Perdue today in visiting all four bases to pledge to vigorously defend them in hearings before the Base Realignment and Closure Commission in the coming weeks. But the overall impact of the Defense Department recommendations was good for Georgia , as several of our bases will gain missions from this round of BRAC. In fact, Georgia is gaining more missions and personnel from this round of BRAC than any other state in the nation except Maryland .  Our nation's military leaders have recognized Georgia 's major contributions to our Armed Forces and to our national security.

This week, the Senate passed a final version of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, which includes funding for our troops in Iraq , the global war on terrorism, tsunami relief, and several immigration reform measures that I pushed for very strongly.  President Bush immediately signed this legislation into law.

The immigration reforms include national standards for driver's licenses and tougher rules for asylum. These reforms only begin to address the single largest domestic issue facing our country and they are critical to our national security.  This is the first step of a bigger debate on immigration reform that we need to have sooner rather than later.    

Also this week, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld put into writing his commitment to continue the multiyear contract for the C-130J cargo plane, which is built in Georgia and which has proven to be invaluable to our national security.  This is excellent news and confirms what I have said all along - that it would be a terrible business decision as well as a very poor military decision to terminate this multiyear contract.

This week, the Senate has been debating the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA), also known as the Highway Bill.  I am hopeful we will pass a bill that is equitable for the state of Georgia . Senator Chambliss and I have offered two amendments to the bill seeking a study of two proposed new interstate highways that would boost local economies in Georgia and the Southeast. 

What's on Tap for Next Week?

Next week, the Senate will continue debating the Highway Bill and is expected to consider some of the President's judicial nominations that have been stalled by Democrats.

Johnny Isakson