the republic logo

Johnny Isakson, David Perdue to face packed agenda when Senate convenes in January

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

ATLANTA — When the Senate convenes in January, Georgia's two senators expect fast movement on key bills like the Keystone oil pipeline, as well as potential showdowns with President Barack Obama.

Sen. Johnny Isakson and Sen.-elect David Perdue — who will be part of the new Republican majority in the chamber — spoke this week with The Associated Press in wide-ranging interviews about key issues they are likely to face in the first few months of the next congressional session.

Both said they want the Keystone pipeline to be among the first votes the Senate takes and plan to support it. Perdue said the pipeline "never should have been a partisan issue," adding it will create jobs and help the economy.

With Democratic losses in the Senate, opposition to the project is now smaller. Both Perdue and Isakson said they hoped the president wouldn't veto the bill, but said they felt confident there would be enough bipartisan support to override a veto if needed.

"It would be a good first step because it would be a bill (Obama) would have a hard time finding any justifiable reason not to sign it," Isakson said. "It would take Democratic help to do, but it's so popular."

Isakson, who's up for re-election in 2016, will be kicking off his campaign Monday with an event at the state Capitol.

Both men said they expected a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Obama's signature legislative achievement that Republicans campaigned heavily against in this year's midterm elections.

"The quicker we have that vote and put it behind us, the better," Isakson said, adding it was important even if there might not be enough support to override a presidential veto. "The United States electorate sent a pretty strong message to the Congress and the current administration with this last election. There were an awful lot of voters who said they weren't happy with this administration's policies."

PHOTO: In this Nov. 4, 2014 photo, Georgia Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue speaks at his election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Atlanta. When the Senate convenes in January, Republicans will have the majority and Georgia’s two senators say they expect fast movement on key bills like the Keystone oil pipeline and potential showdowns with President Barack Obama. Perdue and  Sen. Johnny Isakson say they want the Keystone pipeline to be among the first votes the new Senate takes and plan to support it.  (AP Photo/David Goldman)
In this Nov. 4, 2014 photo, Georgia Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue speaks at his election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Atlanta. When the Senate convenes in January, Republicans will have the majority and Georgia’s two senators say they expect fast movement on key bills like the Keystone oil pipeline and potential showdowns with President Barack Obama. Perdue and Sen. Johnny Isakson say they want the Keystone pipeline to be among the first votes the new Senate takes and plan to support it. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Perdue said he believed the "very premise" of the law was flawed and reiterated his support for a bill introduced by Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, that would repeal and replace it. Price has said an independent review by the former head of the Congressional Budget Office found his proposal would save an estimated $1.7 trillion while reducing health care premium increases.

"To just repeal it is not good enough. We had problems before the Affordable Care Act was passed," Perdue said. "That does not mean that I don't think we need to repeal the entire law. We know it's been crippling to businesses."

With Obama expected to tackle stalled immigration reform efforts through executive order, Perdue and Isakson warned that path was perilous for any bipartisan effort.

"That would only incite the American people and make it even harder to do what needs to be done," Isakson said, adding Congress could take steps to block any orders from being implemented. "With the majority, we'll have control of the appropriations process and can defund those actions."

Perdue said the debt ceiling is going to be the first test of the new leadership.

"Now that Republicans have both the House and the Senate, we can pass the budget," Perdue said. "Waiting until the last minute to solve the debt ceiling is not a responsible way to attack our spending problem."

On tax reform, both men were wary of Obama's offer to lower the corporate tax rate if revenue from the overhaul was used to invest in infrastructure. Perdue and Isakson said infrastructure was better dealt with during the budgeting process.

"I favor investment in infrastructure but not a one-time windfall," Isakson said, adding it was important for Congress to tackle comprehensive tax reform for both businesses and individuals. "It's a big ask and a heavy lift, but the time has come."


Follow Christina Almeida Cassidy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/AP_Christina.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: In this Nov. 4, 2014 photo, Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., steps off the stage after speaking at an election night party for Georgia Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue in Atlanta. When the Senate convenes in January, Republicans will have the majority and Georgia’s two senators say they expect fast movement on key bills like the Keystone oil pipeline and potential showdowns with President Barack Obama.  Isakson and Sen.-elect David Perdue say they want the Keystone pipeline to be among the first votes the new Senate takes and plan to support it.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Click to view (3 Photos)
We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2014 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.