Your morning jolt: Johnny Isakson’s homebuyer tax credit again stripped away

Spurned again.

For the second time this year, a $15,000 tax credit for homebuyers backed by Johnny Iskason made it into a Senate bill — only to be eliminated by a House-Senate conference committee.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. Kimberly Smith/

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. Kimberly Smith/

“I would like to thank the Senate for its wisdom in adopting the $15,000 credit, express my deep disappointment in the conference committee for dropping it and encourage our president and the leadership of our country to give a second thought to what this credit could do,” Isakson said after it happened late Wednesday.

In February, Isakson was able to insert the tax credit provision into a $787 billion stimulus bill (which the senator voted against). The tax credit was removed during House-Senate negotiations as too expensive.

This month, the Senate again approved the Isakson amendment, attaching it to the $3.56 trillion budget resolution. Isakson again voted against the main bill, which passed 53 to 43. Final passage by Congress is expected today.

The biggest difference between the February vote on the stimulus and the current one: The Barack Obama administration has done little lobbying of congressional Republicans like Isakson who have personal stakes in the legislation.

This from Wednesday’s Washington Post — the same day Isakson announced that his tax credit wouldn’t be going anywhere:

In preparation, [Obama] traveled outside Washington, appearing at town hall meetings, in prime-time news conferences and on late-night talk shows. One senior adviser said the president did not make a single call to a lawmaker seeking support for the budget blueprint, which is expected to gain final approval from Congress today.

“It’s kind of like he decided ‘I’m the boss,’ ” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).

While you ponder that, consider these articles found while perusing this morning’s

  • A manure dispute threatens Milton horse farms.
  • An Atlanta police audit ties slow response to scheduling.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court debate over the Voting Rights Act.
  • Atlanta lawyer in TB scare sues the CDC for invasion of privacy.
  • Some opinion:

  • Jay Bookman says Obama is failing to defend U.S. laws against torture.
  • From elsewhere in Georgia:

  • MDJ: Cobb among the most polluted counties in the United States.
  • ATR: Roy Barnes visits Americus.
  • MDJ: Phil Gingrey says the fight for the F-22 will continue.
  • And beyond:

  • AP: Britain ends combat operations in Iraq.
  • NYDN:Elizabeth Edwards says her husband’s affair made her throw up.
  • NYT: Republicans debate whether they want a broader party or a purer one.
  • MSNBC: National Republican Senate Committee launches ad accusing Arlen Specter of cooperating — with George W. Bush.
  • Catholic News Service: Vatican newspaper says Obama’s first 100 days not as bad as Catholic Church feared.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    13 comments Add your comment

    Pierce Randall

    April 30th, 2009
    9:46 am

    Why subsidize only homebuyers? At least the administration’s banking proposals ease credit markets generally. Just what the cul-de-sac gentry needs–a handout from the government.

    Chris Strickland

    April 30th, 2009
    9:48 am

    Johnny, if you are going to vote against your own bill, then why do you care what they strip from it. There ought to be a rule that says if you propose and are successful at attaching and amendment to a bill and then vote against it, your admendment should be stripped from the bill.

    Didn’t we prove that, “I voted for it before I voted against it” doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in 2004? Please can we get a better Republican?


    April 30th, 2009
    9:54 am

    Sen. Isakson, according to the U.S. Constitution, the President IS “the boss”!


    April 30th, 2009
    10:10 am

    Sen. Johnny, you and your party have had plenty of opportunities to join the Obama team and work with him to help turn around the economy, etc. You didn’t have to go along with everything, but you could have compromised in some areas. You have done nothing but be obstructionists. You and the R party, and many Democrats also, have never apologized to the American people for your total mismanagement of fiscal, social, war, and moral policy during the last 10 years. You have been in Congress long enough to shoulder part of the blame for the awful conditions President Obama inherited. Taking responsibility is what I would like to see you do. Nothing less is just blowing smoke. You and your party have painted yourselves into the corner of “no”. I can’t think of any good reason for President Obama to consult you, and especially any of the conservative wing of the R party, on anything. You have made your bed, Sen. Johnny, now you must sleep in it. Oh, and by the way, your new slogan “National Council for a New America”, just another R slogan. You and your party must earn the trust of myself and many other Americans before we buy in. You have years of work to do, son.

    Sissy Saxby

    April 30th, 2009
    10:12 am

    It will be news if either one of Georgia’s senators ever gets anything accomplished. Until then, stories like this are “dog bites man.”


    April 30th, 2009
    10:27 am

    Sissy, you’re right. I have only lived in GA since 1990 but I remember there was a time when GA had very strong representation in Washington. GA, and the Red states in the South, have lost their clout. The sad thing is, these guys, and they are all guys, don’t even realize it.

    The Snark

    April 30th, 2009
    10:58 am

    Darn! The Republicans foiled again in their valiant never-ending attempt to save us from evil taxes! Will they prevail over the sinister forces of socialism? Tune in next week for another thrilling adventure in “Fiscally Irresponsible Pandering,” when you’ll hear Senator Chambliss explain how the American experiment in self-government can succeed on hot air and soda crackers!

    Robber barons

    April 30th, 2009
    12:35 pm

    Thanks to our Republican leaders at all levels, who basically only seek office to work for themselves, their cronies, and the Fat Cats, Georgia is racing towards third world status. Republicans apparently want to destroy all forms of government because government is the only thing that stands between them and their goal of complete domination and pillaging of the rest of us. But hopefully they are dinosaurs who will soon be sinking into the tar pit of history. I look forward to an era of high speed rail, rational transportation policy that does not send most of our national wealth to our enemies in order to feed our fossil fuel addiction, rational energy alternatives, rational foreign policy, rational family planning policy, infrastructure improvement, and a myriad of other productive societal goals that the Republican flat earthers belittle and despise.

    The Oddball

    April 30th, 2009
    1:33 pm

    Why in the world should Senator Isakson think that the President would call him to ask for his support? The last time he worked the phones with the Republicans, the entire Republican House voted against him just for a publicity stunt, and only three Republican Senators — not including Georgia’s two Senators — crossed the aisle.

    If you want bipartisan cooperation, then you have to cooperate. If you don’t, then don’t complain about not being called.

    Jim Callihan

    April 30th, 2009
    4:06 pm

    “Lower taxes”? Even to speak of it without reducing the federal spending levels, reveals the false “Red v Blue” paradigm in DC – two feathers of the same bird of prey. But thankfully, America is waking up and shunning the spoon-fed party lines that are really just two paths to bankrupt this nation into mandatory insolvency-receivership; ending in a fascism-socialism, hybrid beast.

    “It is not our own citizens only who are to receive the bounty of our government. More than eight millions of the stock of this bank are held by foreigners … Is there no danger to our liberty and independence in a bank that in its nature has so little to bind it to our country? Controlling our currency, receiving our public moneys and holding thousands of our citizens in dependence … would be more formidable and dangerous than a military power of the enemy. If (our government) would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favor alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing. In the act before me there seems to be a wide and unnecessary departure from these just principles.”

    Andrew Jackson, in his veto summary message to re-charter the “Federal Reserve” bank of his day – the Second Bank of the United States. BTW – he is the last and ONLY president to completely pay off the national debt.

    Cut the head off of the snake – a completely corrupt and tax-free banking cartel that doubles any return on the “best year” of any corporation in America ($250 BILLION last year). End the Federal Reserve System, default on the debt to that international “mafia”, return the power of currency issuance to the US Treasury and we will enter the greatest expansion of wealth since before 1913. Otherwise, keep pointing fingers and calling names while the vaults are being raided in an unprecedented manner. We will all “wake up homeless” – just as Thomas Jefferson warned about the “central bank system” – over 200 years ago. He saw what Oliver Cromwell and the Bank of England did to Parliament and the UK.

    Hey! Who do you like on American Idol? I want my MTV!

    WAKE UP!!!


    April 30th, 2009
    5:16 pm

    Democrats like to pick and choose the individuals they believe deserve a tax credit. For example, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, et. al. believed that people incapable of paying their mortgages “deserved” loans because they wanted them to “feel” good about their situation. Isakson, who formed a successful real estate business, submitted one of the few ideas that would provide an economic stimulus. The Democrats shaping the policy have never worked in the private sector (unless you count Frank’s work subsidizing the male prostitution ring).

    And the rest is history. Overvalued homes. Inflated prices. The socialization of risk. The collapse of our financial system. President Bush tried to implement reforms that would have prevented this but he was denied by the Democrats.

    Democrats own the failure of the housing market and our financial system. Obama has lost 1.3 million jobs since his installment and has piled smothering debt on the country for at least 3 generations. We are weaker abroad and at home.

    But at least abortions are being subsidized internationally by U.S. taxpayers, so everything isn’t lost.

    Jim Callihan

    April 30th, 2009
    7:08 pm

    “RGB”, as a registered Republican since 1980, and one having been duped (twice! no less) into voting for GW Bush, the “attorney’s general of all fifty states tell a different story on what the Cheney, oops, sorry, Bush Administration did about reform banking.

    Here ya go:

    Just like Joe Scarborough tells in his book – “Rome Wasn’t Burned In A Day!”, DC uses whatever means necessary to publicly humiliate you, mininalize you and kill your “sermon”. As one of his many examples (and he was “there” eight years), the framing of Britt Humes’ son Sandi – even the mysterious “suicide” when he was outing “the old man” in some pretty hardcore corruption, pedophilia, drug use, etc going on in the “White House” in the late 80’s – Sandi ends up dead – coincidence?

    They really pile up in DC…

    Until we call a spade a spade and stop seeing these problems as a “two-party rivalry” (playing into their hands) the only change will be gradually worse vs severely worse. And regarding those legendary real estate “success” stories from the mid 90’s until 2006…2007, how does it look “through the other side” of just another financial gimmick bubble? Funny thing – those lenders; they know just when to make cheap money and just when to call in those loans…buying stuff up for pennies on a dollar. Seen housing prices lately? Coincidence or fraudulent mechinations? Hmmm.

    When Teddy Roosevelt couldn’t deliver on the “Aldrich Plan”, Colonel House brought in “the other party” – Woodrow Wilson…HELLO (un)Federal (no)Resrve (criminal)Act! Born in 1913 and still going strong.

    Sorry, your heart’s in the right place, but no – “Bush-Obama” will go down in history just like “Roosevelt-Wilson”. Hopefully we can wake up and clean house in both parties before we get this generation’s “FDR”.

    Or will that be “Philip Dru”? Hmmm.

    George P. Burdell

    May 1st, 2009
    9:47 am

    Sometimes I find myself agreeing with Isakson, specifically on his newfound support of passenger rail and this housing credit. Its a shame it didnt pass, as I was definitely looking forward to taking advantage of it on my way to joining Pierce’s “cul-de-sac gentry”…..though I consider myself more a member of the arterial aristocracy.