|U.S. Senate, Georgia|
|January 3, 2005-Present|
|January 3, 2017|
|Years in position||10|
|Predecessor||Zell B. Miller (D)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Next general||November 2016|
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|Georgia State Senate|
|Georgia House of Representatives|
|Bachelor's||University of Georgia|
|Service/branch||Georgia Air National Guard|
|Years of service||1966-1972|
|Date of birth||December 28, 1944|
|Place of birth||Atlanta, Georgia|
|Profession||Real Estate Executive|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Career
- 3 Committee assignments
- 4 Issues
- 4.1 Legislative actions
- 4.1.1 113th Congress
- 4.1.2 National security
- 4.1.3 Economy
- 4.1.4 Immigration
- 4.1.5 Social Issues
- 4.1.6 Previous congressional sessions
- 4.2 Controversy
- 4.1 Legislative actions
- 5 Elections
- 6 Campaign donors
- 7 Analysis
- 8 Personal
- 9 Recent news
- 10 External links
- 11 References
He previously was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1999 to 2004, a member of the Georgia State Senate from 1992 to 1996 and a member of the Georgia House of Representatives from 1976 to 1990.
Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Isakson is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.
Isakson was born in Atlanta, Georgia, as a second generation Swedish-American. He served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966 to 1972, leaving service as a staff sergeant.Shortly after graduating from the University of Georgia, he opened the first Cobb County office of Northside Realty, a prominent Atlanta-area real estate firm.
- 1976-1990: Georgia House of Representatives
- 1990-1992: Chairman Georgia Board of Education
- 1992-1996: Georgia State Senate
- 1999-2004: U.S. House of Representatives
- 2004-Present: U.S. Senate
- Isakson also owns his own real-estate firm, on which he served as the president from 1979-2001.
Isakson serves on the following Senate committees:
- United States Senate Committee on Finance
- The Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy
- The Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure
- United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
- Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety Ranking Member
- Subcommittee on Children and Families
- United States Senate Select Committee on Ethics Vice Chair
- United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
- United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
- Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security
- Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet
- Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance
- Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard
- Subcommittee on Science and Space
- Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security
- United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions 
- Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety (Ranking Member)
- Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging
- United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
- Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs
- Subcommittee on African Affairs (Ranking Member)
- Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs
- United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship 
- United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs 
- United States Senate Select Committee on Ethics (Vice Chairman)
The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 224 out of the 3215 introduced bills (7 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session. The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Isakson's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.
American response in Syria
- See also: United States involvement in Syria
Isakson released the following statement on August 31, 2013: "It is appropriate for the president to seek authorization from Congress, although I wish he would have called us back to vote on this immediately rather than waiting until Sept. 9. I support the use of military action in Syria. If we fail to take strong action against Syria for this horrendous attack, then we are sending a signal to Syria as well as to Iran and North Korea that they are accountable to no one."
Isakson then said on September 5, 2013, that he has reservations about giving President Obama the authority to use U.S. military force in Syria.
“You cannot, on the one hand, as a congressional policy-maker talk about shutting down the government or not funding a continuing resolution, and on the same token talk about authorizing a strike that could cost $300 million in a matter of days,” Isakson said. “Our military has to have the capability of being funded to carry out the missions that they are given, and Congress cannot have it both ways.”
John Brennan CIA nomination
Isakson voted against the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.
On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border, without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists criticized President Obama for not offering a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.
The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."
- See also: United States budget debate, 2013
During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funds the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies. The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Isakson voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.
No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013
Isakson voted against H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspended the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.
2013 Senate Budget Proposal
Isakson voted against the 2013 Senate Budget Proposal. On March 23, after an all-night debate that ended just before 5 a.m., by a 50 to 49 vote the Democratically controlled Senate approved its first budget in four years. No Republicans voted for the Senate plan, and four Democrats opposed it. All four are from red states and are up for re-election in 2014. Isakson was one of the four Democrats who voted against the budget proposal.
The approved plan is a $3.7 trillion budget for 2014 and would provide a fast track for passage of tax increases, trim spending modestly and leave the government still deeply in the red for the next decade.
The approval of a budget in the Senate began the process of setting up contentious, and potentially fruitless, negotiations with the Republican-controlled House starting in April to reconcile two vastly different plans for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems.
The House plan would have brought the government’s taxes and spending into balance by 2023 with cuts to domestic spending even below the levels of automatic across-the-board cuts for federal programs now, and it orders up dramatic and controversial changes to Medicare and the tax code.
The Senate plan differed greatly, and included $100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to bolster the economy and calls for special fast-track rules to overhaul the tax code and raise $975 billion over 10 years in legislation that could not be filibustered. Even with that tax increase and prescribed spending cuts, the plan approved by the Senate would leave the government with a $566 billion annual deficit in 10 years, and $5.2 trillion in additional debt over that window.
Isakson voted for Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.
Violence Against Women (2013)
Isakson voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.
Previous congressional sessions
Isakson voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.
Senate Conservative Fund target
On November 2, 2010, Johnny Isakson won re-election to the United States Senate. He defeated Michael "Mike" Thurmond (D), Chuck Donovan (L), Steve Davis (I), Raymond Beckworth (I) and Brian Russell Brown (I) in the general election.
Comprehensive donor information for Isakson is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Isakson raised a total of $19,885,638 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 3, 2013.
|Johnny Isakson's Campaign Contribution History|
|2010||U.S. Senate (Georgia)||$9,671,128|
|2004||U.S. Senate (Georgia)||$7,460,343|
|2002||U.S. House (Georgia, District 6)||$1,034,101|
|2000||U.S. House (Georgia, District 6)||$1,720,066|
|Grand Total Raised||$19,885,638|
Isakson won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Isakson's campaign committee raised a total of $9,671,128 and spent $8,954,504.
|U.S. Senate, Georgia, 2010 - Johnny Isakson Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$336,907|
|Total Spent by General Election Opponent||$336,174|
|Top contributors to Johnny Isakson's campaign committee|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
Ideology and leadership
The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.
Isakson most often votes with:
Isakson least often votes with:
Lifetime voting record
According to the website GovTrack, Isakson missed 107 of 2,576 roll call votes from Jan 2005 to Mar 2013. This amounts to 4.2%, which is worse than the median of 1.7% among currently serving senators as of March 2013.
Congressional staff salaries
The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Isakson paid his congressional staff a total of $2,676,628 in 2011. He ranks 9th on the list of the highest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranks 65th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Georgia ranks 44th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Isakson's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $6,292,135 and $17,678,000. That averages to $11,985,067, which is higher than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2011 of $6,358,668. His average net worth increased by 0.08% from 2010.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Isakson's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $6,440,115 and $17,509,999. That averages to $11,975,057, which is higher than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2010 of $7,054,258.
National Journal vote ratings
- See also: National Journal vote ratings
Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year.
Isakson ranked 20th in the conservative rankings in 2012.
Isakson ranked 33rd in the conservative rankings in 2011.
Voting with party
Johnny Isakson voted with the Republican Party 85.3% of the time, which ranked 35th among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Johnny + Isakson + Georgia + Senate
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Social media:
- Political profiles:
- Financial (federal level):
- Interest group ratings:
- Issue positions:
- Public statements:
- Voting record:
- Works by or about:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- Bioguide "Johnny Isakson" Accessed June 20, 2013
- Johnny Isakson, U.S. Senator from Georgia "Floor Statement on Immigration Reform Remarks as Delivered on the Senate Floor" Accessed October 13, 2011
- Veterans in the U.S. Senate 109th Congress "Senate Vets" Accessed October 13, 2011
- Senator Johnny Isakson "Biography of Senator Johnny Isakson" Accessed Ocotber 13, 2011
- Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
- Senator Johnny Isakson "Accomplishments" Accessed October 13, 2011
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
- 11 Alive.com, "Georgia lawmakers explain their positions on Syria," accessed September 5, 2013
- Augusta Chronicle, "Georgia senator thinking twice about Syria action," accessed September 6, 2013
- Project Votesmart, "Johnny Isakson Key Votes," accessed October 16, 2013
- CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
- USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
- ABC News, "Rand Paul wins applause from GOP and liberals," March 7, 2013
- Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet the GOP senators who refused to stand with Rand," March 7, 2013
- Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
- Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
- The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
- Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
- U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
- The Hill, "Senate Conservatives Fund targets Isakson with latest 'defund ObamaCare' ad," August 22, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
- Open Secrets "Johnny Isakson" Accessed April 3, 2013
- Open Secrets "Johnny Isakson 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed November 7, 2011
- Gov Track "John Isakson," Accessed June 20, 2013
- OpenCongress, "Rep. Johnny Isakson," Accessed August 2, 2013
- GovTrack, "Johnny Isakson," Accessed March 29, 2013
- LegiStorm "Johnny Isakson"
- OpenSecrets.org, "Isakson, (R-Arizona), 2011"
- OpenSecrets.org, "Isakson, (R-GA), 2010"
- National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
- National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
- OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
- Senator Johnny Isakson "Meet Johnny" Accessed October 13, 2011
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