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Isakson: Heritage Action torpedoed GOP compromise efforts

Isakson needles hardline outside groups for prolonging gov't shutdown

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Sen. Johnny Isakson

Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson says a prominent conservative advocacy group is to blame for the failure of a last-ditch compromise effort Tuesday by House Republicans to reopen the federal government.

Isakson said the continuation of the two-week shutdown was due in part to the uncompromising position of Heritage Action for American, the political arm of the influential conservative think that blocked House legislation this week to cut health care subsidies for congressional lawmakers and aides in exchange for funding the government.

The bill “fell apart because, quite frankly, Heritage Action came out against any compromise and the Republicans could not come together and the Democrats were united,” Isakson said Wednesday in an interview with conservative radio talkers Tim Bryant and Martha Zoller. “When you’re in the majority and and you’re not able to come together, you’re not going to be able to close the deal.”

Both Heritage Action and Freedomworks told GOP lawmakers Tuesday it would score the bill on their annual legislative rankings, but House leadership ultimately tabled the measure before a vote was taken.

Listen to Isakson’s full 7-minute interview below the fold.

- James Richardson

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