In the wee hours of Saturday morning, a little more than a week before a controversial provision of the USA PATRIOT Act expires, the U.S. Senate took up two separate pieces of legislation dealing with mass surveillance.
The first bill was the USA FREEDOM Act — which ends bulk collection of phone metadata by the National Security Agency, though requires retention by providers — fell just short of the 60 votes required on a motion to proceed. Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue voted against the bill.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the USA FREEDOM Act by a wide margin earlier in the month. Most of the Georgia delegation voted for the bill, though Reps. Tom Graves and Rob Woodall voted against it because they felt that the reforms didn’t go far enough.
As he was entering Washington-Reagan International Airport, Sen. Johnny Isakson was asked by TMZ for his thoughts on Justin Bieber living in the Peach State. His response was pretty funny.
Just received the following. Haven’t had time to break it down in detail, but I suspect the model would be to set up a replacement organization similar to FHA which has signficant up front Mortgage Insurance fees on all loans, and additional monthly MI fees based on length and loan to value of loans.
WASHINGTON – Drawing on more than 30 years of experience in the real estate industry, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today introduced legislation that gets taxpayers out of the business of bailing out the mortgage industry by winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and creating a new transitional program to securitize high-quality mortgages.
The legislation creates a mechanism to pay back taxpayers for the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and mandates that the transitional program be turned over to the private sector after 10 years. “This legislation is a detailed roadmap to change the unsustainable course we’re on in which the American taxpayers have been bailing out the mortgage industry to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. My bill will shut down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through an orderly transition, and it will repay the taxpayers,” said Isakson. “I invite my colleagues in Congress, both Democrat and Republican, to move this bill forward to strengthen our nation’s housing finance system and our nation’s economy.”
Specifically, Isakson’s bill:
·Shuts down Fannie Mae and Freddie MacCreates a new transitional program to guarantee securitizations of high-quality mortgages for a 10-year period after which the new operation shall be privatizedCreates a new, self-funding catastrophic fund to protect taxpayers from having to bail out another housing collapse during the 10-year transition period before privatization Read more
Today’s Courier Herald Column:
There was a time when being a Georgian in D.C. meant something. The names of Russell, Talmadge,and Nunn had enough political gravitas behind them to change a debate in D.C. In the United States Senate, seniority is currency, and these gentlemen banked plenty. Russell served 38 years, Talmadge 24, and Nunn 25.
Beginning with Republican Senator Mack Mattingly’s 1980 election, Georgia sent a series of short timers to D.C. Mattingly lost to Wyche Fowler who lost to Paul Coverdell. Coverdell won re-election but died an untimely death soon after. Zell Miller finished out the term of Coverdell but chose not to seek re-election. Upon Sam Nunn’s retirement, Max Cleland served one term before being defeated by Saxby Chambliss.
So why the history lesson? Senators Chambliss and Isakson are the first two Georgia Senators to serve simultaneously beyond their first term since Jimmy Carter was President. As these two are gaining seniority, Georgia is gaining clout. Read more
Received via press release:
‘The American People Spoke Loud and Clear in November: They Wanted Congress to Rein In Spending’
Jan 26, 2011
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., tonight issued the following statement following President Obama’s State of the Union address:
“The American people spoke loud and clear in November: They wanted Congress to rein in spending, they didn’t want us to mortgage their children’s future and they wanted to make sure the debt and deficit are reduced. It was clear.
“I’m disappointed the President is politically cherry-picking budget items to take off the table, such as Social Security. I think we have to take the Debt Commission and their recommendation in its totality and debate all of it. There are parts that I don’t like and there may be parts that the President doesn’t like but we have a comprehensive problem that requires a comprehensive solution. Everything should be on the table. Read more
You’re a peach, Johnny! He’s all proud and happy to announce that he is going to vote for the START Treaty in the Senate.
“Only through setting the example, without giving in or capitulating a thing, do we give hope to the future that my grandchildren and yours can live in a world that will not be free of nukes but will be secure; that loose nukes are not in the hands of bad people; and we have transparency and accountability while still having the capability to secure ourselves both offensively and defensively to ensure the security of the people of the United States of America.”
Next time you see him, be sure to thank him for supporting a treaty which will, per NRO’s Richard Perle and Kim R. Holmes, “encumber our freedom to deploy ballistic-missile defenses, squander the negotiating leverage needed to bring Russian shorter-range missiles under control, and reduce verification standards in this and probably future such agreements.” And also ask him why this wonderful treaty leave tactical nuclear weapons completely uncontrolled. And check out this article for much more on why your allegedly conservative senator wants to leave his home state in more peril, rather than less, from nuclear weapons.
From a press release:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today released the following statement regarding the need for Congress to end reckless spending and reform the federal budget process:
“I supported a temporary, two-year moratorium on congressional earmarks today because I agree we should not be funding projects that are frivolous or non-essential functions of the federal government.
“The oath I swore to uphold when I was elected by the people of Georgia was to the U.S. Constitution, which directs the Congress to appropriate federal tax dollars. I will never abandon my oath, and I will continue to fight for funding for projects such as the expansion of the Savannah port that is critical to my state and to U.S. trade, the settlement of the tri-state water compact involving Georgia, funding for our troops and the best interests of the people in the state of Georgia.
From a press release:
Event: Senator Johnny Isakson to speak at UGA
When: Wednesday, November 10th @ 2:00pm
Where: UGA Chapel
The UGA College Republicans, Pi Sigma Alpha Chapter, and Dawgs for Israel are co-sponsoring an event with Senator Johnny Isakson. Senator Isakson will be speaking briefly and then opening the floor for questions. So, it is a great opportunity for students to get a chance to ask a sitting senator a question. The event is open to the public.