You’re about to witness the evolution of a Republican position.
Late Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson was interviewed by Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) on his support for the START nuclear treaty with Russia.
Listen to the entire interview here. Said Isakson:
”The problem that a lot of people don’t focus on is, we have gone since Dec. 5 of last year [without] having any human intelligence in the Russian Federation to verify that they are complying with the old START. It’s the first time in 20 years we haven’t had intelligence on the ground in Russia, and that’s a very dangerous thing.”
O’Hayer then asked if the START treaty ratification by the Senate could become wrapped in any legislative bargaining. Replied Isakson:
”The president cannot expect Congress to ratify what he wants and not deal with what the American people want. The American people want us to take action on the pending tax increases that are going to take place at the end of this year. They want the current rates extended, and we want to do that.
“I don’t think the president should be surprised at all that there’s going to be a reluctance to put anything on the floor until we take care of the tax issue and take care of the continuing resolution in terms of appropriations. So the answer to your question is, the name of the game is right now in this session is to come to a compromise agreement on what is going to get voted on and what isn’t.
“And START’s not going to get voted on if taxes aren’t voted on, in my opinion.”
O’Hayer: “Just be clear, you’re saying that GOP leaders are linking START with a tax cut?”
Isakson: “I didn’t say that.”
O’Hayer: “That’s what I’m trying to find out.”
Isakson: “…I can’t say that’s what the leadership says or that’s what they’re negotiating.”
Actually, now he can. Isakson and his Georgia colleague, Saxby Chambliss, just sent word that they and all 40 of their Republican colleagues will refuse to proceed on any legislation in the Senate until a deal on the Bush tax cuts and a temporary budget fix is reached. Included in the letter the pair signed:
“[W]e will not agree to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers.
“With little time left in this Congressional session, legislative scheduling should be focused on these critical priorities. While there are other items that might ultimately be worthy of the Senate’s attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider