Ossoff leads effort to rename metro Atlanta’s VA offices after Johnny Isakson

Former U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, 76, died Dec. 19, 2021, according to his family. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Combined ShapeCaption
Former U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, 76, died Dec. 19, 2021, according to his family. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Credit: TNS

WASHINGTON — Georgia U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff has teamed up with U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, to introduce legislation to rename the Department of Veterans Affairs’ administrative offices in Decatur after former U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson.

Isakson, who retired from politics in 2019 due to declining health, was a conservative known for his willingness to work across the aisle with Democrats. The Department of Veterans Affairs and health care for former members of the armed forces were among the issues he cared deeply about. Isakson died in December; he was 76.

Ossoff’s legislation would rename the facility the Senator Johnny Isakson Department of Veterans Affairs Atlanta Regional Office.

“Our veterans deserve the best, and Sen. Isakson always fought for them,” Ossoff said. “Renaming the Atlanta VA in his honor will inspire us to stand up for Georgia’s veterans every day like Sen. Isakson did.”

A separate effort led by U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams and Georgia U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock would name the Veterans Affairs hospital on the same campus after former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland. Cleland, who once served as the head of the Veterans Administration, died in November.

Warnock, who currently holds Isakson’s seat, is among the co-sponsors of the bill related to renaming the VA regional offices. The renaming must be approved by both chambers of Congress in order to become law.

The measure immediately received the support of top Senate officials, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and chief Republican Mitch McConnell.

“In Johnny Isakson’s famously big heart, American veterans and his fellow Georgians got pride of place,” McConnell said in a statement. “Isakson has rightly become a synonym for keeping promises to those who have served our nation in uniform. I am glad my friend’s name will inspire the VA’s mission in his beloved state for years to come.”

Schumer in a statement noted that Isakson served as chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and was the point person on “numerous bipartisan bills” that expanded health care for veterans. The renaming of the clinic is fitting, Schumer said.

“The Senator Johnny Isakson Department of Veterans Affairs Atlanta Regional Office will keep his legacy alive by providing care for the veterans Johnny cared so deeply about,” he said.

ExploreJohnny Isakson, 76, Georgia politician respected by both sides, dies
ExploreSen. Warnock wants VA hospital named for Max Cleland