News Center

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

July 15, 2005

Dear Friends,

This week, the Senate focused on and passed H.R. 2360, the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. The $30.8 billion bill includes $282 million for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Ga.  Especially in the wake of the tragic attacks in London last week, Homeland Security remains a top priority. We are reminded that we can't underestimate our enemies whose goal it is to destroy Western civilization. I supported the bill and increased funding for security at our nation's airports, seaports and mass transit systems. With the world's busiest airport, the Centers for Disease Control and two vital ports, I am confident Georgia will benefit greatly from this bill.

I have also continued to fight for increased border protection and enforcement at our nation's borders. This issue cannot be overstated and it is vital to our national security. This week, the Senate unanimously passed a "Sense of the Senate" amendment I offered to the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, acknowledging that terrorists and other illegal immigrants are taking advantage of inadequate security along the U.S. - Mexico border and calling on both nations to address the urgent need for increased protection and enforcement on the border. We have a great trading partner to the south. We have a great neighbor to the south. We have a country that shares many common interests. We have a country that we enjoy being our neighbor. We also would like for them to be our partner in seeing to it that the border we share is secure so that those who are crossing are crossing legally and consistent with the laws of that nation.

On Tuesday, Senator Chambliss and I had the pleasure of joining President Bush for a special ceremony at the White House in honor of three University of Georgia athletics championship teams. Members of the UGA Women's Swimming and Diving, Women's Gymnastics and Men's Golf teams along with their coaches joined other NCAA Championship teams from universities across the United States on the White House South Lawn for the annual Championship Day. I was thrilled to attend the ceremony for these remarkable student athletes. They are wonderful representatives of a first class institution, and the University of Georgia family is extremely proud of their outstanding accomplishments on the field and in the classroom.

Today, I congratulate Agent Andrew J. Phillips of the Marietta Police Department on receiving the Public Safety Medal of Valor by President Bush. Agent Phillips is one of 10 public safety officers selected nationwide to receive the Medal, which is awarded for extraordinary valor above and beyond the call of duty.  On March 11, 2004, while searching a drug house, Agent Phillips and his team arrested four individuals and began taking fire from an unknown suspect. One agent was shot in the lower part of the body, and another was hit in his helmet.  Agent Phillips witnessed the two agents going down and pursued the suspect through a blind hallway. Upon reaching the room where the suspect was hiding armed with a rifle, Agent Phillips fired, causing the suspect to drop his weapon and surrender. Agent Phillips apprehended the suspect and protected his fellow agents from further harm. Andrew Phillips is a true hero, and I am extremely pleased the President has chosen to honor this remarkable Georgian. The Medal of Valor is the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer.

This week I also announced my 2005-2006 Military Academy Selection Board. Through a competitive process, the Military Academy Selection Board must read hundreds of applications from young people around the state interested in attending one of the nation's four service academies that require nominations.  Qualified students who meet basic criteria are then interviewed by the Academy Board, and the board nominates ten students per open academy slot. The number of open academy slots varies from year to year.  Selecting from among so many qualified young Georgians to nominate for our nation's academies is not an easy job, and I thank the members of my board for their valuable service.

In addition, my office welcomed new interns in Washington and Atlanta last week. Throughout the year, exceptional students from Georgia have the opportunity to serve as interns in our offices. This summer, we scheduled two sessions in our Washington and Atlanta offices. Our second session Washington interns are: Nick Chammoun, Lane Holby, Chad Kimbrough, Chris McCormick, Michelle McDonald, and Sarah Link. Our second session Atlanta interns are: Katie Cox, Chris Harney and Jeff McGee. We have enjoyed getting to know each other over the last two weeks and look forward to working hard in the weeks ahead.

What's on Tap for Next Week?

Next week, the Senate will begin debate on the FY06 State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill.

Johnny Isakson