Isakson votes against troop withdrawal

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson is standing by President George W. Bush's plan for Iraq.

Isakson voted Wednesday against an amendment to the 2008 defense authorization bill, which would have mandated troop withdrawal begin within 120 days of enactment and end by April 1, 2008, that had the same stipulations. The amendment failed to receive the number of votes needed for passage.

"A precipitous and final withdrawal that is notwithstanding whatever action may be taking place on the ground or what progress may have been made is wrong," Isakson said in a press release. "While the situation in Iraq is grave, it would turn dire if we prematurely withdraw our forces."

Last week, though, a Gwinnett representative supported the withdrawal.

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat who represents the 4th District, which includes portions of Gwinnett, supported last week the Responsible Deployment From Iraq Act, which had the same stipulations.

"Our first responsibility is to protect America and our brave troops," Johnson said in another release. "This legislation is intended to bring our service men and women home post haste rather than whenever this Administration finds a way to save face. We went into this war under false pretenses and we need to pull out in a responsible way because it is the right thing to do. This bill ensures that we do so, sooner rather than later."

Johnson is hosting a military town hall meeting later this month.

Several agencies and veterans organizations will be on hand to address veterans, military personnel and their families on issues such as benefits, health care, business opportunities and securing overdue service medals. Resource tables will be available and a Q&A session is scheduled.

The event, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lou Walker Center at 2538 Panola Road in Lithonia will feature Lt. Gen. David Poythress, adjutant general of the Georgia Department of Defense.

For more information contact the congressman's district offices at 770-987-2291 or 770-939-2016.

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.