Georgia’s Isakson, Perdue vote to change rules, clear way for Gorsuch

Georgia’s Republican U.S. senators, Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, voted with their party leaders Thursday in favor of changing the Senate’s filibuster rules and advancing Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination.

Both men cited a similar rationale for their decisions. They said Gorsuch was a well-qualified nominee who deserved an up-or-down vote, and they pointed the finger at Democrats for playing politics with the Senate and its institutional legacy.

“It is ridiculous Democrats today put self-interest and party interest ahead of the nation’s interest,” Perdue said in a statement.

Isakson made a special trip to Capitol Hill for Thursday’s votes, his second in as many weeks as he continues to recover at home in Marietta from a pair of back surgeries.

The three-term Republican later said he was frustrated about the naked partisanship that has come to define recent work in the Senate, but he indicated that Thursday’s action was necessary.

“I’m sorry it got to that,” he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “You sometimes can never fall in until you first fall out. Today we had a fallout with history. Maybe we’ll fall back in later on and come back together.”

Both Isakson and Perdue said they plan to vote in favor of confirming Gorsuch on Friday.