Alexander: Johnny Isakson Set an Example for Why We Senators are Here

Posted on December 3, 2019

WASHINGTON, December 3, 2019 — United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said that “Johnny Isakson set an example for why we senators are here.” 

Alexander made his remarks on the Senate floor in a farewell speech to Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia who is retiring from the Senate at the end of the year.

“I listened carefully to Senator Isakson's remarks about bipartisanship. It kind of reminded me of the preacher on Sunday talking to the congregation, saying, ‘I'm not so worried about what you do during this one hour while you're in church, it's your behavior between now and next Sunday,’” Alexander said. “I think what Johnny Isakson was saying is that the speeches about bipartisanship are admirable and good, but what we need to do is follow those speeches a little better between now and the next time we have a group of speeches.”

“I like to encourage my constituents in Tennessee to look at Washington, D.C., as if it were a split screen television. On the one side, you see what most people are watching – you see impeachment, tweets and Supreme Court controversies. But on the other side, where very few probably watch, you see senators like Johnny Isakson working to pass an opioid bill or senators working to pay songwriters a fair amount for their work. That is where Johnny Isakson has spent most of his 15 years.”  

Alexander continued: “Johnny learned a long time ago that if all you want to do is take a position or make a speech, then you don't need to go through all the trouble of joining the United States Senate – you can get a radio program. He has reminded us of why we're here. He reminded us that, if you are a United States senator, it's hard to get here, it's hard to stay here, and while you're here, you might as well try to accomplish something good for the country.

“That is Johnny Isakson’s legacy and that is something we should be grateful for.”

You can watch Sen. Alexander’s floor speech here.