Senator Reverend Warnock’s bipartisan resolution honoring the late U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) passed the Senate today with support from all 99 of his fellow Senators
Senator Warnock delivered a floor speech honoring the decades of incredible service former Senator Isakson gave to Georgia and the nation
Senator Reverend Warnock: “Johnny Isakson always showed up, and he was unafraid to work across ideological differences, political differences in our state and our country, and I’ll never forget that example of public service”
Senator Reverend Warnock: “With great appreciation and admiration, for Senator Johnny Isakson, for a friend, I introduced a bipartisan resolution with Senator Ossoff honoring the life and legacy of Senator Isakson that is co-sponsored now by all of my 99 senate colleagues. He brings us together in death the same way he did in life”
Watch Senator Warnock’s floor speech HERE
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) introduced and passed a bipartisan resolution to honor former U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) with support from all 99 of his Senate colleagues. Senator Warnock delivered a speech on the Senate floor commending Senator Isakson’s incredible service to Georgia and the nation. The resolution and the speech highlighted Senator Isakson’s dedication to putting Georgia first and his penchant for working across the aisle to get things done.
Earlier this year, Senator Warnock, who serves in the seat Senator Isakson once held, re-launched Senator Isakson’s tradition of hosting a barbecue lunch for all Senators to foster bipartisanship.
Read Senator Reverend Warnock’s full floor speech below:
“Madam president, I come to the floor today to honor a friend, our late senator from Georgia, my predecessor, Senator Johnny Isakson. I mourn this great loss with the rest of Georgia and people all across our nation. And since his passing, I know I’ve joined many of you in reflecting on the countless memories and moments that we shared with Johnny Isakson.
“Without a doubt, Senator Isakson cared deeply for Georgia, and he cared deeply for our country. He was a patriot, a public servant, and there are members of my staff, I’m proud to say, who used to work for Johnny. And they will tell you that he never hesitated to show up. I often talk in my other job about the ministry of presence. Sometimes half a job is to show up. And he knew how to show up for people. Whether it was paying a visit to an ill patient, ill parent of a staffer, or seeing a disabled veteran. Senator Isakson dedicated years of service to our beloved state, to our veterans, our families, and our children.
“And he always made it a point to join us at the Ebenezer Baptist Church for the annual service and commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. I always smiled when I considered the fact that not only did he show up — a lot of politicians show up — he always stayed for the whole service, and I’ll tell you, it’s no short service. Senator Isakson was there the whole time, as we recognized and celebrated Georgia’s greatest son, Martin Luther King Jr.
“Johnny Isakson was my friend. In fact, when this country elected its first Black president, he recognized its historic significance, although he was in a different party, called me on the phone, he thought I might want to be there. And so I witnessed in person the inauguration of the — the first inauguration of Barack Obama as a guest of Johnny Isakson. And then a few years later, when we were at a flash point, a flash point of division in this country and there were some as we were approaching a State Of The Union address, who were saying we should not have the same kind of partisan scene, where one side stands up, the other one sits down. We ought to try to find the ways in which we’re connected. And the folks who work here were all trying to find somebody. You might remember that. Johnny Isakson reached out to me, and I was his guest sitting in the House, witnessing for the first time in person a State Of The Union address, and the very first time I stood on the floor of this chamber, I came as Johnny Isakson’s guest, as Chaplain of the Day, opening the Senate in prayer. He was my friend, which is why I was not surprised when he called me up, and he said ‘Raphael, I’m retiring. I want to say goodbye, and I want to come by your church.’ And so, on a Sunday morning, Senator Isakson and his wife and other members of his family came by. We enjoyed conversation in my office, and then I shortened my sermon that morning so he could say hello to the people of Ebenezer. He left a gift to support our ministry to veterans, because he was so committed to those who give so much for our freedom.
“Johnny Isakson always showed up, and he was unafraid to work across ideological differences, political differences in our state and our country, and I’ll never forget that example of public service.
“And so this morning, with great appreciation and admiration, for Senator Johnny Isakson, for a friend, I introduced a bipartisan resolution with Senator Ossoff honoring the life and legacy of Senator Isakson that is co-sponsored now by all of my 99 senate colleagues. He brings us together in death the same way he did in life.
“He’s a model of public service, an example to future generations of leaders on how to stand on principle and make progress while also governing with compassion and a heart for compromise. I hope we can all remember the lessons of Senator Isakson’s service, always looking for ways to make friends, to move our state and nation forward. And when that doesn’t work, looking for how we can make, as he called it, future friends.
“I bring these lessons and other advice Senator Isakson gave me to my work for Georgia here in the Senate, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s bipartisan barbecue, which Senator Isakson started and we carried on this year in his honor.
“And I look forward to continuing to work with all of my colleagues, all of them, for the love of the people we serve and the spirit of our beloved friend, Senator Johnny Isakson. May my predecessor and friend live forever in our hearts and spirits. He was an upstanding elected official, and an even better man.
“Blessed are they which die in the lord’s sense of spirit, may they rest from their labors and their deeds do follow him. God bless his memory, and bless his family with the peace of God that surpasses human understanding.”