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On July 27, 2022, the U.S. Senate passed the Senator Johnny Isakson VA Regional Office Act of 2022, which would name the Veterans Affairs facility in Decatur, Ga., after Isakson, who died in 2021. (Credit: CSPAN)

In Washington, D.C. last night, the U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan Senator Johnny Isakson VA Regional Office Act of 2022.

The legislation designated the Veterans Affairs facility in Decatur, Ga., as the Senator Johnny Isakson Department of Veterans Affairs Atlanta Regional Office.

The bill was led by Sens. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) in honor of the late Isakson for his work to “relentlessly advocate for our nation’s veterans and service members,” a press release from Ossoff’s office stated.

Former Sen. Johnny Isakson (Credit: GPB.org)

Isakson, a Republican known for working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle, served Georgia in the U.S. Senate from 2005 to 2019. He also served as Chair of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee from 2015 to 2019.

Isakson died Dec. 19, 2021, at age 76 after a battle with Parkinson’s disease. ​

​​​He spent more than four decades in Georgia political life, and was notable for his bipartisan approach, his work on a popular tax credit for first-time home buyers and his participation in the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, which led him to Africa to visit projects run by the Atlanta-based humanitarian organization CARE.

As chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, he worked to expand programs for veterans, including the extensive Isakson and Roe Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020.

Ossoff took to the Senate floor Wednesday to urge his colleagues to pass the legislation and honor Isakson.

“Sen. Isakson had a saying … that there are just two kinds of people in this world: ‘friends and future friends,’” Ossoff said on the Senate floor. “I hope we can all be inspired by that aspiration and that outlook, by his resilient desire to see the good in everyone, to see the opportunity to work with anyone to try to find where our interests align, where we can meet eye to eye — where we can get things done together.”

Ossoff and Blunt introduced the bipartisan legislation alongside fellow Sens. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), VA Committee Chair Jon Tester (D-MT), VA Committee Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Rob Portman (R-OH). Georgia’s congressional delegation in the House, led by Reps. Sanford Bishop (GA-02) and Rick Allen (GA-12), introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. House.

This story comes to Reporter Newspapers/Atlanta Intown through a reporting partnership with GPB News, a non-profit newsroom covering the state of Georgia.

Kristi York Wooten | GPB

Kristi York Wooten is a digital editor, content manager, and journalist based in Atlanta. Her work appears in The New York Times, The Economist, The Atlantic, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and others.