WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., was appointed Thursday to a committee that will play an important role in the next round of negotiations on federal spending and debt reduction.
Isakson will serve on the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over key federal entitlement programs, including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The panel also oversees the nation's welfare system.
"My No.-1 priority in the Senate is to rein in federal spending and restore fiscal soundness to our country," Isakson said in a prepared statement. "As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, I am committed to finding meaningful solutions and working with anyone who will sit down at the table."
Earlier this week, Isakson voted for Senate legislation that allowed the nation to avoid the "fiscal cliff" of automatic tax increases and spending cuts that would have taken effect otherwise.
However, the bipartisan deal reached by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., delayed a series of across-the-board spending reductions for just two months.
Also, President Barack Obama is expected to ask Congress soon for another increase in the nation's debt ceiling.
Isakson was elected to the Senate in 2004 after serving five years in the U.S. House of Representatives representing a district in Atlanta's northern suburbs.