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

April 29, 2005

Dear Friends,

This week, I spoke on the Senate floor, calling on my colleagues to fulfill their Constitutional responsibility to allow judicial nominees to be voted on by the full Senate.  Every judge nominated by this President or any future President deserves an up-or-down vote.  It is the responsibility of the Senate. It is the direction of the Constitution.  A decision that should be simple has become for this Senate very complex. But in the end, I think we should peel back the arguments and look back to the foundation under which all of us operate, and that is our Constitution.

The Senate and House also passed a final version of the budget resolution for fiscal year 2006, outlining federal spending priorities and working toward the President's goal of cutting the deficit in half over the next five years.  While this budget resolution makes cuts in many programs, I applaud the effort to rein in spending and cut the deficit. It is the right thing to do, and it is what the American people want us to do.

Also this week, the Senate has been debating working on the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA), also known as the Highway Bill.  We will resume this debate the week of May 9, and 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. 

The first new proposed highway, Interstate 14, would link Augusta, Macon, and Columbus, connecting through Montgomery , Alabama and going to Natchez , Mississippi .  The second new proposed highway, Interstate 3, would connect link Savannah and Augusta , Georgia to Knoxville , Tennessee . Representative Norwood included the study of the highways in the House version of the Highway Bill.  It is a very worthy idea to study the feasibility of these two proposed highways, because both would be such a big boost to some local communities in Georgia and in other Southeastern states that desperately need it. 

Senator Chambliss and I were pleased to announce several federal grants for Georgia this week, including a research grant for Emory University , an educational funding grant for Darton College in Albany , mentoring programs in Decatur , Douglas County and Tifton, and development funding for Mitchell County .     

What's on Tap for Next Week?

Next week, the Senate will be recess. My next e-Newsletter will be May 13.

Sincerely,
Johnny Isakson