Senator John 'Johnny' H. Isakson's Political Positions

Office: U.S. Senate (GA) - Jr, Republican
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Johnny Isakson refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2010 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

What is the Political Courage Test?

This candidate has demonstrated 0% courage during the test.

*Note: This percentage is calculated based on the number of issue areas addressed by the candidate on the Political Courage Test at the conclusion of the testing period. It does not indicate support or lack of support by Project Vote Smart.

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Vote Smart's Research

  • John Isakson. HR 3660. 106th Congress. To amend title 18, United States Code, to ban partial-birth abortions. Project Vote Smart Summary: John Isakson voted YES on 4 May 2000. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. HR 760. 108th Congress. To prohibit the procedure commonly known as partial-birth abortion. Project Vote Smart Summary: John Isakson voted YES on 4 June 2003. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. S 3. 108th Congress. A bill to prohibit the procedure commonly known as partial-birth abortion. Project Vote Smart Summary: John Isakson voted YES on 2 October 2003. (votesmart.org)
  • Planned Parenthood. 2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. John Isakson supported the interests of Planned Parenthood 0 percent in 2008. (votesmart.org)
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. John Isakson supported the interests of NARAL Pro-Choice America 0 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • National Right to Life Committee. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. John Isakson supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 100 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. S Amdt 3330 to S Amdt 3325 to HR 3043. 110th Congress. To prohibit the provision of funds to grantees who perform abortions. Project Vote Smart Summary: John Isakson voted YES on 18 October 2007. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. S Amdt 3896 to S Amdt 3899 to S 1200. 110th Congress. To modify a section relating to limitation on use of funds appropriated to the Service. Project Vote Smart Summary: John Isakson voted YES on 26 February 2008. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Isakson Votes to Preserve Ban on Federal Funding for Abortion. 8 December 2009. "By providing taxpayer funding of abortion, Senate Democrats are poised to radically change a federal policy that has been in place for over 30 years," Isakson said. "I co-sponsored this amendment because it is incomprehensible to fund abortion with American tax dollars." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • National Taxpayers Union. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. John Isakson supported the interests of the National Taxpayers Union 90 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Isakson Votes to Expand Estate Tax Relief. 13 March 2008. "U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today voted for an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Resolution that would increase the exemption for the estate tax, also known as the 'death tax,' from $2 million to $5 million. 'When the tragedy of death comes, family members are immediately confronted with one of the most punitive and confiscatory taxes that has ever been devised in the history of taxation - the death tax,' Isakson said. 'This amendment would have been a huge step in the righting that wrong and would have avoided subjecting an estimated 119,200 families, small businesses and family farms to the estate tax each and every year.' The amendment would also have established the top death tax rate at no more than 35 percent beginning in 2010. The amendment failed by a 50 to 50 vote. The President's 2001 tax package phased out the estate tax over 10 years. Unfortunately, the legislation contained a sunset provision that reinstated the tax at the end of that period. This makes long-term estate planning and retirement planning virtually impossible, since the tax code changes so radically at the end of the 10-year period. Isakson supports permanently repealing the estate tax. 'A full repeal of the estate tax will let our hard-working taxpayers pass along their savings to their children and grandchildren tax-free,' Isakson said. 'That's good for families and small businesses, and it's good for our economy. I will continue to do everything I can to see that we take action to repeal the death tax permanently." (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Issue Position: Taxes. "In 2001, Congress passed President Bush's tax relief package, the largest in a generation. This plan has reduced taxes for everyone who pays income taxes, eliminated the death tax and marriage penalty tax, and increased the child tax credit. I worked for passage of the President's tax relief package and one of my top priorities in the Senate is to make these tax cuts permanent. Currently, this tax relief is set to expire in 2011, meaning that taxes will increase for American families and businesses unless we act to make the tax cuts permanent. I will do everything I can to see that we take action." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Club for Growth. 2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. John Isakson supported the interests of the Club for Growth 63 percent in 2008. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. HR 1. 111th Congress. Making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes. Project Vote Smart Summary: John Isakson voted NO on 13 February 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Financial Crisis. 1 October 2008. "The core of this is the $700 billion authorization to buy mortgage-backed securities that are on the books of banks, savings and loans, insurance companies, and other entities in the United States. The first misconception is that the money is going to Wall Street. Wall Street is not being bailed out. Everybody has forgotten that Lehman Brothers went broke. Merrill Lynch sold itself for 30 cents on the dollar. Bear Stearns sold itself or merged for 10 cents on the dollar. And AIG is paying the taxpayer 8.5 points over LIBOR to borrow $84 billion to dissolve itself. Those are no bailouts. This money goes to those who purchase the securities that were underwritten by Moody's and Standard & Poor's as investment grade and hold them on their balance sheets as an asset which is now valued virtually at zero." (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Isakson, Chambliss Vote Against Massive Spending Bill. 13 February 2009. "'This economic stimulus bill is yet another example of Congress throwing money at the symptoms but not getting to the root of the problem. This economic decline began in housing and it will only end when the housing market rebounds,' Isakson said. 'I'm extremely disappointed the members of Congress negotiating the final package decided to eliminate my $15,000 tax credit for all Americans who purchase a home. I will continue to pursue my proposal as stand-alone legislation. We have historical precedent that shows this idea works and there has been so much public support for it. I believe my colleagues will go home next week and their constituents will ask them why a tax credit for all buyers and all homes wasn't included in the final stimulus bill. I'm optimistic it can still be done." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • John Isakson. Social Security and Medicare. 31 March 2008. "The President who serves now, and who will go out of office in January, has made an effort on Social Security, and it was rejected by organizations and others. It was an effort of privatization. The next President will not be so lucky to be able to neglect this. Time is running out. The next President will probably serve for 8 years. When they are out, it will be 2018, 1 year before Medicare goes broke. I don't think we can afford to allow that to happen." (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Words Matter. 18 September 2008. "We should not play politics with their future. By way of example, the previous speaker brought back the entitlement debate of 2005 and the challenge of privatization. We must remember today that the debate we had was about one of the problems that Congress has contributed to, and that is a Social Security system from which we have borrowed all of its trust fund and spent all of its money. Because of the way we have managed the fiscal house of the United States, we will dissipate the trust fund in its entirety by 2043. That is something we ought to be addressing." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants. 2005-2006. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. John Isakson supported the interests of the Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants 10 percent in 2005-2006. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Executive Session. 20 January 2010. "I also join Senator Chambliss in acknowledging and studying one's record. Some of her decisions I think have been outstanding. As a former prosecutor, she understands the dangers our law enforcement officers go through. She understands the value they serve. I think her ruling not to stay the execution of a murderer of a Columbus, GA policeman was absolutely the right decision. Her defense of the Georgia death penalty law as being constitutional was not only appropriate but right. Throughout all of her decisions, one thing is for sure: Whether you agreed or not, she gave it the thought and time necessary to make what she felt was the right decision." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Home School Legal Defense Association. 1999-2000. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. John Isakson supported the interests of the Home School Legal Defense Association 60 percent in 1999-2000. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. HR 1. 107th Congress. To close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind. Project Vote Smart Summary: John Isakson voted YES on 23 May 2001. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Issue Position: Education. "In the House of Representatives, I was proud to have served on the drafting team for the No Child Left Behind Act. With the President's strong commitment, we created a comprehensive reform to strengthen this nation's public schools and the result is a landmark law that is providing schools with the necessary resources to give all children a quality education. The bill reflects each of the four pillars of the President's reform blueprint: accountability and testing, flexibility and local control, funding for what works, and expanded parental control. Overall, our school systems are improving and our students are receiving more of the educational tools they need to compete in the 21 st Century. I am especially pleased with the increased accountability under No Child Left Behind. I believe our continued commitment to improving reading and math skills by those students most at risk will in time reduce drop out rates and improve educational achievement around the country. That being said, I do realize that there are some areas that need revision, specifically those dealing with Adequate Yearly Progress, Special Education and non-English speaking students. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that we re-authorize and improve this valuable legislation." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Environment America. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. John Isakson supported the interests of Environment America 0 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Issue Position: Energy and Cap-and-Trade. "I am afraid that some in Congress and the administration are rushing to judgment in favor of a cap-and-trade system to regulate carbon. Such a program will raise the cost of energy to all Georgians - especially those who rely on electric energy - in the form of higher utility bills and prices of goods and services. Thus, I strongly oppose the Waxman-Markey climate change cap-and-trade bill that passed the House of Representatives on June 26, 2009. The cost of this bill alone is estimated to cost Georgia utility ratepayers $8.6 billion over the next 10 years. This is unacceptable. We need incentives to reduce carbon, not to punish its production, and I am working to ensure that the flawed Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, that would raise the cost of energy to all Georgians and negatively impact the American economy, does not pass the Senate." (johnnyisakson.com)
  • John Isakson. Issue Position: Johnny Isakson's Position Statement on Energy and the Environment. "I am concerned that, in a rush to judgment, the Congress will enact measures that will have dramatic negative effects on our manufacturing sector while also causing significant increases in the cost of power generation. I will work to ensure that we enact common-sense measures designed to address climate change and the economic impact of these measures on our economy." (isakson.senate.gov)
  • Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Action Fund. 2007. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. John Isakson supported the interests of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Action Fund 34 percent in 2007. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. S Amdt 4825 to S 3036. 110th Congress. In the nature of a substitute. Project Vote Smart Summary: John Isakson voted NO for cloture on 6 June 2008. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Issue Position: Energy and the Environment. "In the past 10 years, Georgia has substantially improved its air quality. We must take the next step in this positive trend towards bringing cleaner air and better health to more of our citizens. We have learned a great deal about what approaches work best, and now is the time to put those lessons to use. We should implement market-based approaches to air and water quality that guarantee results while keeping utility prices affordable for Americans." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • John Isakson. S Amdt 1067 to S Amdt 1058 to HR 627. 111th Congress. To protect innocent Americans from violent crime in national parks and refuges. Project Vote Smart Summary: John Isakson voted YES on 12 May 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. 2003. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. John Isakson supported the interests of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence 0 percent from 1988 and 2003. (votesmart.org)
  • Gun Owners of America. 2010. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. In 2010 Gun Owners of America gave John Isakson a grade of A. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Issue Position: Second Amendment. "I support the Second Amendment right of all law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and their families. I firmly believe that we do not need more gun control in America; rather we need more criminal control. To that end, I support instant background checks on the purchase of all guns to prevent convicted felons from obtaining them, but I do not support waiting periods or the registration of any firearm. As many of these issues reemerge in the 110 th Congress, I will work for common-sense legislation that keeps our children safe without infringing upon our Second Amendment rights." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • American Public Health Association. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. John Isakson supported the interests of the American Public Health Association 0 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Isakson Votes No On Moving Forward With Democrats' Terribly Flawed, $2.5 Trillion Health Care Bill. 21 November 2009. "This bill is bad for Georgia, bad for families and small businesses, bad for our seniors and bad for America. We should scrap it and start over,' Isakson said. 'This disastrous bill would raise taxes, raise premiums and drive millions of Americans to a public option where there is no option." (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Issue Position: Health Care. "As a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, I am committed to enhancing our nation's healthcare by addressing the issues of cost, quality, coverage and accessibility. It is vital that we empower individuals to take charge of their own healthcare by providing access to an affordable insurance market through tax credits and deductions. The cost of healthcare will then be tied to consumer demands and through increased competition in the private market, consumers will be able to find best prices, most choice and improvements in quality care and access to care. There are currently 44 million uninsured individuals in America and 9 million uninsured children. It is critical that Congress work to provide access to affordable healthcare insurance for all Americans." (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Isakson Continues to Fight Against Terribly Flawed Health Care Law. 6 August 2010. "U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today announced he is co-sponsoring five pieces of legislation aimed at repealing provisions of the Democrats' terribly flawed, $2.5 trillion health care law. "The health care law will have a devastating impact on our nation. The tax increases in this bill will be massive, immediate and couldn't come at a worse time for families and small businesses. The policy mandates in this bill are being challenged by states and rejected by voters," Isakson said. "I will work to fight this law every step of the way." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • John Isakson. S Amdt 4087 to S 2611. 109th Congress. To modify the conditions under which aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States are granted legal status. Project Vote Smart Summary: John Isakson voted NO on 23 May 2006. (votesmart.org)
  • Federation for American Immigration Reform. 2007-2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. John Isakson supported the interests of the Federation for American Immigration Reform 67 percent in 2007-2008. (votesmart.org)
  • National Latino Congreso. 2007-2010. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. John Isakson supported the interests of the National Latino Congreso 7 percent in 2007-2010. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Issue Position: Immigration. "Once the border security provisions included in the bill are implemented, my legislation would give individuals who are here in the country illegally one year to come forward and to confess that they have come to our country illegally. These individuals would be required to clear the terrorist watch list and a criminal background investigation as well as proving that they or the head of their household are employed. These individuals would then receive a two-year temporary, probationary work permit, renewable as long as they remain law-abiding, remain employed and complete within those first two years an approved assimilation program that includes English and civics lessons. My legislation would not offer any special pathway to obtaining U.S. citizenship for these individuals. They would have to pursue citizenship by getting in line and complying with the same rules and procedures that are already in place for any other immigrant." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Peace Action West. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. John Isakson supported the interests of Peace Action West 0 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Isakson Questions Administration Officials on Withdrawal Timeline in Afghanistan. 3 December, 2009. "'Afghanistan is the epicenter of Islamic terrorism, and establishing an arbitrary timeline for withdrawal provides Al-Qaeda and the Taliban with opportunity,' Isakson said. 'The resolve to pursue this mission to a successful conclusion must be there. This withdrawal timeline sends the wrong signal to our enemies, and as a result, the commitment we're making with these additional troops may be in vain.'" (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Isakson Statement on Obama's Strategy for Afghanistan. 1 December 2009. "I am glad the President has finally outlined his strategy regarding the war in Afghanistan, and I am glad he will supply General McChrystal with a majority of the troops he wanted. We need to give our commanders in the field the manpower they need to get the job done. We also must continue to put pressure on the Karzai government to end corruption and drug-trafficking. I am extremely concerned by the President's proposal to set an arbitrary timeline for withdrawal because I think that sends the exact wrong signal to the enemy. We should pursue this mission to a successful conclusion and then bring our troops home." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • John Isakson. SJ Res 1. 109th Congress. Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage. Project Vote Smart Summary: John Isakson voted YES on 7 June 2006. (votesmart.org)
  • John Isakson. Issue Position: Social Values. "I have co-sponsored the Marriage Protection Amendment because I believe it is important for the sanctity of marriage and for the laws of this country that we have a seamless definition of marriage, and the only way to do that is to establish one in the Constitution." (johnnyisakson.com)

Key

Candidate Answer Official Position

Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.

Inferred Answer Inferred Position

Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Project Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.

Unknown Answer Unknown Position

Candidate refused to address this issue.

 Project Vote Smart's Research

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