News Center

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

October 7, 2005

Dear Friends,

This week, President Bush nominated his White House counsel, Harriet Miers, to the U.S. Supreme Court. I am delighted President Bush has nominated a woman to replace Sandra Day O'Connor.  I look forward to meeting Ms. Miers and to listening to her testimony during the confirmation hearings. I hope the Senate will consider the President's nominee deliberatively, fairly and expeditiously. I will not apply any kind of litmus test for Ms. Miers, and I expect the Senate to treat her with respect and dignity during the confirmation process.

Also, this morning, the Senate passed the fiscal year 2006 Defense Appropriations Bill. The funds for Georgia include: $3.2 billion for 24 F/A-22 Raptors and$1 billion for 13 C-130J's built by Lockheed Martin in Marietta, $45 million for a C-37 aircraft for the Air Force to be built by Gulfstream in Savannah, $30 million for Air National Guard Block 42 F-16 Engine Upgrades manufactured by United Technologies, among many others. Georgia 's military bases and defense systems manufacturers are critical to our national security and have played a key role in the war in Iraq, and I am very pleased to see such a strong commitment to them from Washington. The bill also provides key funds for U.S. operations related to the Global War on Terror; $570.5 million for recruiting and retention support for the Active, National Guard and Reserve components; a 3.1 percent across-the-board pay raise for military personnel, and an increase in Basic Allowance for Housing to maintain last year's initiative to eliminate out-of-pocket housing expenses for military personnel.

I will continue to fight to bring to the floor for a vote a pension bill that includes the provisions of my Employee Pension Preservation Act, a bill I int roduced with Senator Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) in April to protect airline employee pensions and protect the American taxpayers from a bailout. We came close to getting the bill to the floor this week, and I will continue to work with Senate leadership to bring it to the floor when we return from the Columbus Day recess. I am committed to getting this pension bill passed for my constituents, particularly the thousands of airline employees and retirees who live in Georgia. We must act quickly to ensure that the airlines can meet their obligations, the airline employees and retirees can collect the benefit they have earned and the American taxpayers are protected from assuming the liability for these pensions.

What's on Tap for Next Week?

Next week, the Senate will be in recess for the Columbus Day holiday.

Johnny Isakson