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Isakson, Chambliss vote against Iraq timetable

Georgia's senators will support President Bush's promised veto of the Senate's timeline for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Marietta, and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Moultrie, voted against the emergency supplemental spending bill for the war to express their dismay over the timeline.

"We must remember today we are not in a war like past wars. The terrorists don't want to beat us. They want us to lose our resolve so they can rule the world through intimidation," Isakson said. "It is vital that we pass a bill that includes the necessary for funds for our men and women in uniform to do their job, but Congress should not dictate strategy regarding the conflict in Iraq."

The bill, which was passed by the Senate on Thursday by a vote of 51 to 47, sets a goal of withdrawing most U.S. troops from Iraq by March 31, 2008.

Bush has threatened to veto the emergency supplemental spending bill if includes a timeline for removing U.S. troops from Iraq. In that case, the legislation would come back to the Senate for a vote on whether the veto should be sustained.

"Congress does not need to micromanage the war, and funding for our troops should not be delivered with strings attached," Chambliss said. "We have military leadership on the ground in Iraq recommending against imposing timelines. We have civilian leaders who have significant military experience who testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, and every single one of those individuals, whether they were Republican or Democrat, has said imposing timelines is not the way to go. A surrender date will simply embolden the enemy."

Chambliss said he was also disappointed that he could not call up a bill he introduced Thursday to provide immediate funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program funding shortfall, which impacts Georgia's PeachCare program.

"(Democrats) are well aware that the president intends to veto the supplemental, and the time to address the shortfall is now and it is unfortunate that the Democrats continue to delay," he said.

McCain builds

Georgia team

U.S. Sen. John McCain has gotten some heavy-hitters to advise his presidential campaign in Georgia.

McCain said he was proud of the support he has received from Georgia Republicans.

"These are respected leaders that have strong ties in Georgia and I'm proud to have their support," said McCain. "I look forward to their counsel and combined efforts toward renewed leadership for our country and party."

On the Arizona senator's team is GOP chairman Alec Poitevint, a state senator and two people who helped Gov. Sonny Perdue win re-election last year.

"This is a pivotal election for the future of our country and supporting John McCain's brand of leadership couldn't be more important," Poitevint said. "Whether it's because of the tireless assault on the security of our country or America's traditional values, we need John McCain's credibility on security and proven conservative credentials."

Poitevint is the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party and national committeeman from the state of Georgia to the Republican National Committee. Poitevint is also serving as the southern co-chair for John McCain 2008.

Also on the team are:

•Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, who will serve as the co-chair of Legislators for McCain.

•Derrick Dickey, who served as the communications director and deputy campaign manager for Perdue's 2006 re-election campaign.

•Leigh Ann Wood Gillis, who served as the finance consultant for Perdue's re-election.

•Clint Murphy, who co-chaired Sen. Johnny Isakson's campaign in Chatham County, served as chairman of Chatham County for Casey Cagle's campaign for lieutenant governor and managed Barbara Dooley's Congressional campaign. He was a member of former Sen. Paul Coverdell's staff.

•John Sours, the former chairman of the 5th District Republican executive committee and former chairman of the Fulton County Republican Party.

•Jay Walker, who served as the chief-of-staff to Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson

"Georgians that are concerned about principled leadership in the Oval Office should back John McCain," Mullis said. "His time in office is a case study in accomplishing meaningful reform without buckling to special interests or Washington D.C. insiders."

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.