Deficit hawk David Perdue grapples with Donald Trump’s big-ticket fiscal proposals

WASHINGTON — Georgia’s David Perdue has been one of Donald Trump’s biggest boosters in Georgia and the U.S. Senate. The two have an awful lot in common, the freshman lawmaker likes to remind folks, including a business background and outsider credentials.

But a key area where the two men appear to differ is on the importance of deficit reduction.

Perdue has made it a central issue during his first two years in the Senate. He’s known for railing against what he sees as D.C.’s interlocking debt and security crises in speeches on the Senate floor and he’s proposed overhauling Capitol Hill’s budget process as a first step in dealing with Washington’s spending problem.

Trump, meanwhile, hasn’t spoken much about the national debt. His plans to bolster the country’s roads, bridges and national defense carry major price tags, as does his proposal for massive tax cuts. Without pay-fors to help offset the costs, those plans could lead to big deficits.

That puts Perdue, who promises to be a key Trump partner on Capitol Hill, in a tight political spot: defending his pal or full-throatedly endorsing one of the issues that helped him land his Senate seat.

“I for one, in the Senate, am planning to be a strong ally but I am also going to challenge where I have to relative to the debt,” he said in a recent interview. For his part, Perdue said Trump “has a very serious eye on the debt.”

Perdue voiced support for an infrastructure overhaul, which Trump has indicated will be a top priority in the new year. The Georgia freshman was particularly warm toward Trump’s proposal to lure private investment as a way to help pay for the 10-year, $1 trillion plan.

“Yes, I’m concerned that we don’t take for granted the pay-fors, that we don’t take for granted the long-term implication on the debt,” he said. “But in any turnaround that I was a part of we had to make certain investments to make the product or service healthy again and some of those took a little while to get a return.”

Perdue said he’d be looking for a “return on investment” as part of any plan.

He overall struck an optimistic tone about Trump and his ability to break through the gridlock that has saddled Capitol Hill for years.

“The country is hopeful that because this guy is an outsider—he comes from the real world—that he is going to be able to break through this total, total gridlock and actually get some of these things done,” he said.

Read more about Perdue and Trump: 

Following Donald Trump meeting, David Perdue indicates he’ll stay in the Senate

Trump administration could mean greater clout for Perdue circle

Reader Comments 0

29 comments
Ben L Rainey
Ben L Rainey

Perdue should a bridge builder have to wait 10 years for permission to start building, fix EPA

Ben L Rainey
Ben L Rainey

Hang in there Perdue. Do we need 1.4 M Pentagon employees, a dept of ed and a do nothing energy dept? this is where big savings can happen

Andy Young
Andy Young

Chickens are coming home to roost. Perdue - that's a chicken name, isn't it?

Kathy Brown
Kathy Brown

Just wait until the constituency "grapples" with Trump's big tax hike for big ticket fiscal proposals. Hahahahaha Trump's plan to cut corporate taxes, and the taxes of those making more then $150,000 so GUESS what group will pay 25 and 15% tax rate? Yes, indeed. The only ones not paying federal income taxes will be those in Trump's league, the top 1% ers.

Anita Parham Adair
Anita Parham Adair

I am from GA and I would never vote for him, I do not trust him, he almost bankrupt Dollar General and he only knows how to spend, it is not his money.

Willie Weatherspoon
Willie Weatherspoon

CALL TO ACTION. .THE CIA HAS FOUND THAT RUSSIA INTERFERED IN THE ELECTION TO HELP DONALD TRUMP. keep pressure on the organizations that can get him out b4 the inauguration. We have to FIGHT . Time is short. TRUMP SHOULD NOT BE SWORN IN. Email, call DOJ 202 353 1555 OR 202 514 2000.FBI JASON CHAFFETZ 202 225 7751 & HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE 202-225-5074 , PAUL RYAN 202 225 0600 AND DEMAND IMMEDIATE INVESTIGATION INTO TRUMPS ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES , RUSSIAN TIES, AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST B4 THE INAUGURATION. Go to http://asktheelectors.org

Chris Le Fave
Chris Le Fave

Work with him to find a way to make it revenue-neutral. No new debt, and no bashing Trump for the sake of bashing Trump. Work together, it's what we hire you for.

Sam Nicholas
Sam Nicholas

Those fiscally conservative Reds...I haven't seen an ounce of fiscal conservativism in the state of Georgia yet . I'll enjoy watching the Republican party twist them selves into knots to accommodate the Democrat they elected to the White House .

Margaret Mishra
Margaret Mishra

Good for you David looks like you dare to think of yourself,

Doug Rogers
Doug Rogers

Why is it when Republican's are in charge they spend like mad men and never pay the bills. They only care about deficits when the Democrats try to pay the bills. And no Social Security does not cost the taxpayers a penny that is until Congress has to pay back the trust fund all the money they stole.

Bruce Johnson
Bruce Johnson

Doug, you just don't understand how SS works. We pay into it for our retirement, and then the government spends that money on other things. If we insist on getting our retirement, then the government won't have enough money to pay for all of that other stuff.

Tray Turner
Tray Turner

David Perdue and his "grappling" are insignificant. Perdue is just another opinion.....Trump will do what he wants....to enrich himself and his cronies. Trump did and said what he had to do to get elected.....dissent in the ranks will not be tolerated.

Diane Chapman
Diane Chapman

Trump is not planning on increasing the debt by trillions, if he has been listening, Trump is planning on getting private donations to fund a lot of the infrastructure

13Directors
13Directors

Trump is planning on getting private donations to fund a lot of the infrastructure...where did you hear that? 


Becky Fly
Becky Fly

The deficit will increase mostly due to the tax cuts.

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

Reading several bills to cut Social Security and Medicare there should be enough money savings there to transfer to infrastructure and tax cuts

Chee Hill
Chee Hill

Especially his widowed mother.

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

Old people love coupons they figure they will love CouponCare.

Shelton Brown Jr
Shelton Brown Jr

Social Security and Medicaid are paid through FICA not income taxes. Any cuts will result on lower your FICA but not your taxes.

Tom Alfred
Tom Alfred

Shelton Brown Jr Evidence please, that the money from social security and medicare cuts won't be used to lower corporate or individual tax rates, but instead as you say FICA.

Arden Jones
Arden Jones

The GOP doesn't care about running deficits so long as the end result is someone getting screwed while billionaires get richer.

Harry Abrams
Harry Abrams

Generalities......took a while to compose that, didn't it.