Sen. Johnny Isakson: Weekly Newsletter


Sen. Johnny Isakson: Weekly Newsletter

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From Senator Johnny Isakson

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

February 7, 2014

Dear Friends,

This week, the Senate passed the conference report for H.R.2642, the Agricultural Act of 2014, known as the Farm Bill. The conference report provides $8 billion in new savings from reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which issues food stamps, largely by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in the system and by strengthening work requirements for benefit eligibility. It also includes strong provisions on forestry and conservation that are important to Georgia. I was proud to vote for this bipartisan farm bill because it is vital to Georgia agriculture, which is our state’s number one industry, and it will ensure that we continue meeting the needs of farmers in Georgia and the Southeast.

Official Report on the Job-Killing Effects of Obamacare
On Tuesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report with findings that the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, will reduce the workforce by the equivalent of 2 million full-time workers by 2017 and 2.5 million full-time workers by 2024.

I have voted to defund, dismantle or repeal Obamacare almost 60 times, and I continue to support its full repeal. I have co-sponsored dozens of legislative proposals that would repeal the law in full or provisions in the law.

Just last week, I called on President Obama to alleviate the pain that Obamacare is inflicting on Americans. This report is a devastating blow at a time when Americans are struggling to find jobs. This is further proof that Obamacare is hurting our economy. We should be focusing on job creation, not job-killing overregulation.

Also last week, I called on the president to work with Congress on several initiatives to create jobs and grow the economy, including granting Trade Promotion authority, approving the Keystone XL Pipeline agreement and reauthorizing the Workforce Investment Act – job training legislation that I have worked on in a bipartisan manner in the Senate.

Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act
On Monday, I joined with Senator Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., to speak to the Rotary Club of Atlanta about our efforts to bridge the partisan gap in Washington and reform the federal budgeting process. Our bipartisan Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act, S.554, would convert the annual federal spending process to a two-year budget cycle.

Biennial budgeting has been endorsed by each successive administration since Ronald Reagan was President, as well as by numerous federal budget experts. I have sponsored biennial budgeting proposals every year I have been in the Senate, while Sen. Shaheen has firsthand experience with the efficacy of biennial budgeting from her tenure as governor of New Hampshire, which operates on a two-year budget cycle. Twenty states operate under a biennial budgeting cycle.

On March 22, 2013, I offered this legislation as an amendment to the Budget Resolution (S.Con.Res.8), and it was agreed to by a vote of 68 to 31. Although the budget resolution is a non-binding blueprint, the vote signaled that there is broad bipartisan support for biennial budgeting and appropriations and that our legislation, if brought to the floor for a vote, would have a good chance of passing in the Senate. The editorial board of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer this week became the latest entity to endorse our plan.

In Other News
This week I was proud to co-sponsor a Senate Resolution celebrating Black History Month, which is commemorated each February. I urge you to read the full text of the resolution.

The XXII Olympic Winter Games began this week, and I wish all of our fine athletes the best of luck as the Olympic Games begin! I know Team USA will make America proud.

What’s on Tap?
Next week, the Senate is expected to consider whether to proceed to S.1963, a bill that would repeal an expected cut in the cost-of-living adjustment for certain military retirees.

Johnny Isakson


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