Isakson and Chambliss: No tax deal, no START treaty

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.

Retiring Sen. Christopher Dodd, D- Conn., left, talks with Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., as they walk to the Senate Chamber on Tuesday. AP/Evan Vucci

Retiring Sen. Christopher Dodd, D- Conn., left, talks with Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., as they walk to the Senate Chamber on Tuesday. AP/Evan Vucci

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

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86 comments Add your comment

Seeking Humanity

December 1st, 2010
1:18 pm

It’s sad that our congressional representatives are incapable of working two things at once (or walking and chewing gum at the same time). Maybe they just need to hire a few more dozen staffers to help them understand more than a single issue at a time.

Sandra

December 1st, 2010
1:18 pm

This is why the Republicans in Congress are absolutely useless. It’s their way or no way. I’m sick to death of them already.

Aaron Burr V. Mexico

December 1st, 2010
1:27 pm

Is it the Republicans?

I blame the independents who voted to ’send a message’ to the Democrats about the economy.

You know, the one the Republicans screwed up?

Conservatives have the excuse of basically having their own political religion. They have their own alternate view of things, and pretty much even scientific facts are mutable if it meets the needs of their corporate masters. More important, they actually BELIEVE in something and fight for what they believe.

Democrats can’t really say the same. Obama did the same thing with Tax Cuts that he did with Health Care. He immediately caved without getting a single concession from the Republicans. Democrats by and large have no spine, which is why they will continue to lose.

Victor

December 1st, 2010
1:30 pm

Atomic annihilation v. tax cuts. How absurd. Don’t they know that they can’t take it with them?

NW GA Dem

December 1st, 2010
1:33 pm

Nothing is stopping any of y’all from e-mailing your so-called representatives to ask them to STOP playing politics and START doing what we sent them there to do: REPRESENT US. For hundreds of thousands of people in Georgia, there is no time to lose in fixing things like the extension of unemployment benefits. They need to stop waffling and start working in the best interests of the people who put them there!

Just Wait

December 1st, 2010
1:38 pm

If you think this is bad, just wait until next year.

khc

December 1st, 2010
1:43 pm

last i checked prez is dem as is senate…only house will be repub…..they are in the minority and as many of these yocals point out they are not in charge….should be willing to compromise especially on taxes as most georgians will never see 250k and what would sam nunn think of the russian treaty…johnny and saxby just don’t want dems to get any credit….well the tables will be turned at sometime…..

do unto others….

Dennis

December 1st, 2010
1:50 pm

Refusing to vote on anything but tax breaks for the wealthy is not what we voted for. If Chambliss and Isakson can’t find a way to govern for all the people you should resign their positions.

Keith

December 1st, 2010
1:59 pm

Why didn’t you do make that demand before the horrendous S510 bill was passed Tuesday?

Open Minded

December 1st, 2010
2:00 pm

The comments above are so laughable, Apparently, the elitist left, the enlightened ones are frustrated that the people have spoken during the recent election… “It’s the Economy, Stupid”
Of course the Republicans are demanding that prioritization, this time they seem to get it.

DannyX

December 1st, 2010
2:04 pm

How in the world did the Republicans ever find time for their Jesus Ants investigation?

There’s a tax crawling up your leg Republicans. Now there are millions of them. All over your body. You keep trying to smack them off of you but you can’t keep up. There are taxes all over you. Can you feel them??? If you only had a flat ant.

ViewFromMidtown

December 1st, 2010
2:09 pm

Further proof that Republicans are serious about neither national security nor deficit-reduction. They’re willing to hold national security hostage for tax cuts for millionaires. Tax cuts that are expiring precisely because the Congress knew when the cuts were passed they would balloon the deficit.

The Centrist

December 1st, 2010
2:21 pm

Keith. Please explain what the Food Safety Modernization Act has to do with the GA GOP delegation being stupid regarding 2%’er taxes or the START Treaty? Oh, it’s that the GOP added stupid amendments to water down the Act in order to protect corrupt food company officials.

pn

December 1st, 2010
2:21 pm

Hello? Hello, Dimitri? Listen, I can’t hear too well, do you suppose you could turn the music down just a little? Oh, that’s much better. Yes. Fine, I can hear you now, Dimitri. Clear and plain and coming through fine. I’m coming through fine too, eh? Good, then. Well then as you say we’re both coming through fine. Good. Well it’s good that you’re fine and I’m fine. I agree with you. It’s great to be fine.
(laughs)
Now then Dimitri. You know how we’ve always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the bomb. The bomb, Dimitri. The hydrogen bomb. Well now what happened is, one of our base commanders, he had a sort of, well he went a little funny in the head. You know. Just a little… funny. And uh, he went and did a silly thing.
(listens)
Well, I’ll tell you what he did, he ordered his planes… to attack your country.
(listens)
Well let me finish, Dimitri. Let me finish, Dimitri.
(listens)
Well, listen, how do you think I feel about it? Can you imagine how I feel about it, Dimitri? Why do you think I’m calling you? Just to say hello?
(listens)
Of course I like to speak to you. Of course I like to say hello. Not now, but any time, Dimitri. I’m just calling up to tell you something terrible has happened.
(listens)
It’s a friendly call. Of course it’s a friendly call. Listen, if it wasn’t friendly, … you probably wouldn’t have even got it. They will not reach their targets for at least another hour.

Hazel

December 1st, 2010
2:23 pm

ViewFromMidtown-2:09 pm.

Stop trying to confuse the issue with facts! Thats not fair.

Jon Lester

December 1st, 2010
2:25 pm

Ratifying New START should be the obvious fiscally conservative course of action. Money is wasted maintaining an excessive arsenal, and only the most naive among us would deny that and the likelihood of graft happening at such high levels of appropriations, even that’s aside from the geopolitical reality that there is no existential threat to the nation that could warrant keeping more than 1,550 warheads on long-range vehicles.

Retired Soldier

December 1st, 2010
2:26 pm

Sandra-

I understand now. If republicans do what democrats want, it’s bipartisanship. If Democrats do what republicans want, it’s ” their wy or no way”. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Laurie

December 1st, 2010
2:27 pm

I am not a fan of Isakson and Chambliss, but seems to me they are not saying no to START or passing something on the tax cuts set to expire. They just want to address the tax cuts and budget before anything else. That’s a reasonable request. We all know, however, they will spend the entire month debating tax cuts and nothing will get done.

DannyX

December 1st, 2010
2:28 pm

Of course Republicans will most certainly have time for, you know, certain other issues.

In fact, I hear bells, must be that time, the War on Christmas is here. Gotta have our traditional serving. I hear it is all out war this year.

Yesterday at a Wal Mart in Cobb County we had this ugly scene…

A man entered the Wal Mart with a SMALL CHILD. The Wal Mart Greeter said, “Hell-oooo, Happy Jollidays, Welcome to Wal Marrrta.”

Republicans are outraged. They have scheduled House hearings on the matter. “You could tell he was gay right off the bat with that drawn out “Helloooo” of his. Then the way he pronounced “holidays” with “J” and not an American “H.” Those twirled r’s were disgusting. And why not “Merry Christmas?”

Why was a gay, illegal alien, atheist, Mexican speaking/looking man allowed to represent our Christian shopping values here in America?

We’ll find out soon.

Voter

December 1st, 2010
2:33 pm

I am the first to say that the protection of the home is the most important thing that the government is to do. I will say that if the tax issue is not handle this year and all of our taxes go up you will see more homeless people and the jobless numbers will rise. Which could put the nation in extreme danger. So I agree with both of Georiga Senators.

pn

December 1st, 2010
2:35 pm

“But this is absolute madness, ambassador. Why should you build such a thing?”
“There are those of us who fought against it, but in the end we could not keep up with the expense involved in the arms race, the space race, and the peace race. And at the same time our people grumbled for more nylons and washing machines. Our doomsday scheme cost us just a small fraction of what we’d been spending on defense in a single year. But the deciding factor was when we learned that your country was working along similar lines, and we were afraid of a doomsday gap.”
“This is preposterous. I’ve never approved of anything like that.”
“Our source was the New York Times.”
“Dr. Strangelove, do we have anything like that in the works?”
– President Merkin Muffley & Russian Ambassador

Obamination

December 1st, 2010
2:36 pm

How dare these politicians put the needs of the American people before the agenda of the President! Shameless!

gm

December 1st, 2010
2:55 pm

This what are the idiots get for voting for these selfish conservatives, these people do not care about the American people, they only care about the rich, and trying to undermine the President.
This what happends when you watch those hateful bigots of Rush, Hannity, Beck, who did everything to make you hate the President and voted for these self money interest Rep.
In a couple of months when the Rep starts killing every bill to help the American people, they are going to send a lot of you idiots to the soup line.

pn

December 1st, 2010
2:56 pm

Sam Nunn is for ratification of the START nuclear treaty.
How can anyone in their right mind tie this issue to the extension of tax breaks for the wealthy?
The Republicans have gone mad.

pn

December 1st, 2010
2:56 pm

khc

December 1st, 2010
3:13 pm

why would anyone listen to the repubs that can’t even stand up to carny like palin……

CW

December 1st, 2010
3:37 pm

I guess this means Congress also will not address the Federal budget and without another continuing resloution (I assume nothing until the tax cuts are addressed), then government would shut down (this scenario sounds similar to the Gingrich vs Clinton stand off in the 90s). It would be interesting to see public reaction to no Social Security checks, and other essential services at the end of the year.

redneck

December 1st, 2010
3:39 pm

gm you represent your party well….moron

pete

December 1st, 2010
3:51 pm

letting the tax breaks expire does not mean raise,besides why keep giving tax breaks were there is none to give.This is money being borrowed from china so that American tax payor pays back.So why do I want to pay back money that has been borrowed from china just so they get a tax break.When all the old people may not even get thier social security to be able to live on.What has America come to.

Old Dawg

December 1st, 2010
3:56 pm

My God! How many of you people feel that you must rely on government for your very existence? We need a FLAT tax to replace the confusing and unfair US Tax Code. That way, everyone, yes everyone, pays his/her fair share. What’s wrong with a guy/gal making $50k per year to pay the same % as a guy/gal making $500k? Nothing, that’s what. A Flat Tax combined with a law that requires a balanced budget would go a long way toward fixing what is wrong with this country.

Straight Talk

December 1st, 2010
3:59 pm

Based on most of the above uninformed, ‘foaming at the mouth’, name-calling comments, I clearly see why the founders of this country were wise to create a republic [a represenative government] instead of a democracy [mob rule]. God help us if these folks are indicative of the airheaded thinking of the majority of the voters.

GaBlue

December 1st, 2010
4:01 pm

Extorion. That’s how they roll. Impressed? **Yawwwn!** SSDD. I can’t belive these tools collect a ginormous paycheck and a lifetime worth of benefits… suckling from the public teat until they die.

pete

December 1st, 2010
4:01 pm

OLD DOG they have proven it does not work, research and find out why!

GaBlue

December 1st, 2010
4:01 pm

Extortion. Sorry for the typo.

DannyX

December 1st, 2010
4:03 pm

“My God! How many of you people feel that you must rely on government for your very existence?”

Oh my God!!! Your very identity on this blog, “Old Dawg.” is inspired by big government socialized state run football. Why must you rely on the government for your entertainment, Dawg?

Any of the other 199,002 users with “Dawg” in your name care to explain? What is wrong with you people????

GaBlue

December 1st, 2010
4:05 pm

DannyX,

heheheh… good one! heh.. “woof”
(War Eagle!)

pete

December 1st, 2010
4:12 pm

tell our goverment to get off of teat and stop collecting for themselves and rich bed fellows. Besides taxes were created for buisness, not for working class.There is a difference thats why a lot of people will not pay taxes.

pete

December 1st, 2010
4:19 pm

I think we need to tax every football game and extra 5 bucks per game I bet we could get some money rolling in then!Instead of taxing my food and clothing and my B paper lets tax more entertainment.

Road Scholar

December 1st, 2010
4:21 pm

Republicans think they have a mandate, but they never bothered to examine the exit polls (they ususally don’t let facts get in the way!) The polls revealed to all, except our republican senators, that 70%—yes 70%- more than two-thirds- want the tax cuts extended for incomes less than 250K but want the taxes reimplemented above $250K.

France had only one Napoleon; we have 40!

Rafe Hollister

December 1st, 2010
4:38 pm

You libs should demand that Barry veto the tax cut extention. The Republicans do not have the 2/3 majority to override his veto. If he doesnt’ veto the bill and signs it, they become the Obama Tax Cuts for the Wealthiest of the Wealthy, isn’t that what they called them when Dubyah signed them.

DP

December 1st, 2010
4:56 pm

I knew Saxby 35 years ago, he was a haircut in a blazer then, he is a haircut in a blazer now. The only difference is that the blazer is more expensive. The idea that he is one of 100 senators was, is and always will be a joke. Richatd Russel, Sam Nunn…..Saxby Chambless. What a mess

gm

December 1st, 2010
5:01 pm

redneck” Dont hate the truth: Did you idiots who put the same party that almost destroyed this country back in office thought they cared about you.
HA, Ha, to busy hating the President listening to those rich bigots of Hannity, Sara, Rush,Beck.
Wait till next year when those hyprocrites Rep vote against unemployment for families that need it.
Poor white conservatives always vote against their interest, rich scum politicians always make them feel like the government is giving something away and they are paying for it, what a bunch of idiots.

techengineer

December 1st, 2010
5:17 pm

While I would never in all my days vote for a filthy perverted anti American Democrat, I am infuriated by all this gamesmanship over extending tax cuts for the very rich!! OMG I’m all for a flat tax or fair tax but in a time of deficits like we face we are not willing to touch the tax rates of millionaires? Complete BS!!! Shame on the Grand Ole Party!! Shameful! Althoug I’d never consider voting for a D, I do not and will not support lower taxes on millionaires!! You hear that Johnny and Saxby?

Last Man Standing

December 1st, 2010
5:21 pm

It isn’t that the Republicans can’t deal with more than piece of legislation at the time, it is that they WON’T deal with anything until the tax issue is resolved. They do not trust the democrats led by Obama, Reed and Pelosi – and rightfully so! Once the tax issue is resolved, I’m sure that they will move forward with other work. They have learned that trusting the democrats is somewhat akin to trusting most used car salesmen.

I, on the other hand, do trust democrats. I trust them to lie to the American people, increase taxes, increase federal spending amd work against the best interests of America.

SickOfLies

December 1st, 2010
5:29 pm

Why don’t they just let the tax cuts expire, and the next congress deal with it. I’m sure the grumpy old party will really enjoy explaining the deficit increases they have so demonized.
There’s not a statesman among them.

Gman

December 1st, 2010
5:39 pm

The majority of Georgians never cease to amaze me with their ignorance. People this is not a football game where my team must win at all cost regardless of the consequences. The letter behind a persons name means absolutely nothing. The character of a person means everything!

red hill

December 1st, 2010
5:39 pm

Sounds like our senators might have heard the call of the American people on Nov. 2. 2012 can’t come soon enough. Then we can rid ourselves of Obama and the rest of his Marxist pals.

GaBlue

December 1st, 2010
5:45 pm

Last Man Standing,

It’s a ruse, and you’ve been duped. Stop reacting and parroting for a minute, zoom out, and look at the big picture. Nothing going on in DC supports the widely-accepted notion that there are two opposing sides, except for the nonsensical ranting and raving (and crying) on the House and Senate floors. The media coverage is hype and half-truths no matter which channel you find. The chaos — the “uncertainty” that has this nation in an economic death grip — is exactly AS INTENDED. Furthermore, they WANT people like you and me to spend all our time spitting blame at each other. That way we don’t see what’s really going on. Stop, look, and listen, my friend.

Jason

December 1st, 2010
6:06 pm

Apparently some people never grow out of throwing temper tantrums.

khc

December 1st, 2010
6:06 pm

most of the local yocals complaining about letting tax breaks for rich expire will never see $250K….anyone in financial sector related to making big bucks off the housing scam ought to have their tax breaks expire…..and clawbacks too.

many conservs harken for good ole days…..i’m with them when wealth disparity was tolerable.