David Perdue rips into Democrats, CBO in searing health care speech

WASHINGTON — A longtime U.S. Senate tradition is for junior lawmakers of the party in power to preside over the chamber’s floor debate. As a first-term Republican, Georgia’s David Perdue has spent his share of time in the Senate president’s chair over the last two years, watching over what are often mundane speeches.

Perdue was on the late shift Monday night as Democrat after Democrat took to the floor in a last-ditch effort to defend Obamacare and trash the GOP’s uncertain repeal plans. Their comments incensed the typically measured Perdue, who has positioned himself as an unwavering supporter of the Trump White House and its agenda. After he wrapped up his official duties around 11 p.m., Perdue clipped a microphone to his lapel for an impromptu, uncharacteristically searing speech in which he laid into Democrats for being hypocritical when it comes to looking out for the poor.

Read more: Senate to push for health care debate, but which plan?

“They want a big government solution that gives them more power,” he said. “They could care less about the very poor people they claim to champion, Mr. President, and I’ve had enough of it.”

Perdue’s contention was that Obamacare’s individual mandate, which requires everyone to buy health insurance and tasks the IRS with taxing the people who don’t, has led the government to collect billions in fines, much of it from the nation’s poorest people. He said Democrats’ policies have led to 300,000 poor Georgians not being able to afford insurance.

“That’s taking care of your brethren, alright,” Perdue said sarcastically. “I’m embarrassed.”

Georgia chose not to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, arguing that enlarging the state’s rolls would be too costly in the long run. Democrats contend the individual mandate is needed to keep premiums lower for the country’s sickest patients, many of whom were denied coverage or previously priced out of insurance.

Perdue was dismissive of Democrats’ overtures for the two parties to work together to repair Obamacare, arguing they were “seven years too late.” He said growing calls on the left for a single payer health care system wouldn’t be effective, citing President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” and “War on Poverty” programs, which also included a substantial role for the federal government.

Perdue also had strong words for Congress’ non-partisan budget scorekeeper, which has estimated that tens of millions of Americans would lose their health insurance under the various GOP repeal proposals. He echoed the recent White House argument that the Congressional Budget Office overestimated the number of Americans who would enroll in Obamacare.

“This isn’t a rounding error,” Perdue said. “They don’t know what they’re doing.”

PolitiFact previously rated similar comments from the White House as “half true.”

Here’s the speech:

 

Reader Comments 0

191 comments
Ronald Suttles
Ronald Suttles

DRAFT-DODGER-IN-CHIEF, ILLEGITIMATE, President donald trump!!!

John McQuown
John McQuown

Perdue is auditioning for a job in the Trump Admin. He doesn't know anything about healthcare and doesn't care enough to learn.

Joel Rea
Joel Rea

Too much fox for the republicans! The sooner they ween themselves from fox, the sooner facts will start to matter. There's redistribution of wealth right now, but it comes from the poor and middle class, and goes to the billionaires as tax breaks.

Mark Faucette
Mark Faucette

David Perdue clearly has no interest in actually helping his constituents.

Nancy Chorpenning
Nancy Chorpenning

You phony excuse of a human! You would rather KILL your constituents than TALK with us. Fake fake fake.

Tim Ryles
Tim Ryles

The most complimentary thing I can say about Perdue is that he is Trump Lite.

Kellie Miranda Keesee
Kellie Miranda Keesee

Dont be mad to Dems...you knew how they would vote. Be mad at 9 GOP defectors. Or take a hard look at why they defected.

Ria Austin
Ria Austin

Coward cannot face his constituents!

Mary Smith
Mary Smith

I can't believe we have 4 more years og perdue. He is one of the worst senators we have had in ga and believe me we have had a lot of bad senators

Earle Lovell
Earle Lovell

Senator David Purdue said that he was proud of off shoring American jobs while CEO of dollar general,dollar tree or dollar something.RED GEORGIA voted for this, so here we stand, WTF...

John Moss
John Moss

Democrats are for giving people other people's earned money, while Republicans are for government that does not work and getting elected to prove it!

Martin Mcconaughy
Martin Mcconaughy

Single payer option to compete with profits sucking insurance robbers.

Sylvia Shortt
Sylvia Shortt

How dare you Perdue? When the GOP plan strips healthcare from 24-32 million people? You're the party of death and heartless. Not to mention you already come from a state that lets poor people die, rural hospitals close and jobs end!!

J.r. Rich-Bellerose
J.r. Rich-Bellerose

Senator David Perdue is a disgrace and we need to get rid of him. #Resist #Unite #Revolution #PitchforksandTorches #QuitVotingRepublican #VOTE

David Graham
David Graham

Perdue needs to go back to his chicken coop.

Josh Hanselman
Josh Hanselman

Healthcare is a human right and David Perdue is a huge tool

Debbie Beck
Debbie Beck

Heartless, Embarassment to Georgia !!@

Brian Vaughn
Brian Vaughn

This guy is pathetic. He doesn't have an original idea in that empty shell of his. Just a rubber stamp for trump. But that doesn't bother him. He has zero integrity anyway. Typical fascist.

Angela Thibodeaux
Angela Thibodeaux

You voted yes to the repeal and replace bill. You voted to throw an additional 20+ million people off insurance and RAISE premiums. You voted for a tax cut for the wealthiest of Americans, and I'm sure you are among those who benefit. You voted against the best interest of your constituents. Your constituents won't forget this.

MrCary
MrCary

If he refrained from saying "Mr. President" he could cut several minutes off this garbage speech.


Kathy Morris
Kathy Morris

The CBO estimated how many people would be enrolled in Obamacare, and later a Supreme Court decision made it possible for states to refuse to expand Medicaid. Hence, the overestimate.

Angela Thibodeaux
Angela Thibodeaux

Not a way to win friends and influence people. Definitely worth a re-read Senator Perdue.

Roscoe Nesmith
Roscoe Nesmith

Perdue clearly doesn't know much about history. LBJ's "Great Society" programs were surely flawed, but they brought millions out of poverty (especially the elderly). Time for that lie to stop. And let's not forget that Obamacare was the conservative plan, one put forth by the Heritage Foundation in response to the "Hillarycare" proposals in the early 1990's. Perdue shills for his own kind: the corporate masters. Ask anyone who works for Dollar General about their quality of life and you'll understand perfectly what David Perdue stands for.

Bryan Booth
Bryan Booth

These top comments make me so hopeful for my state! Republicans just put a nail in their own coffin. Democrats at least show some forms of empathy and respect for humanity. We are flipping Ga in 2018!

David Holt
David Holt

David Perdue can't wait to hook you up with a low cost health care plan. Does $200 a month for a box of band-aids sound fair?

Louise Frazier
Louise Frazier

People who live in crystal mansions shouldn't throw stones.

Louise Frazier
Louise Frazier

Where was Perdue when the Georgia Legislature passed a bill some years back that had deep cuts to healthcare spending in this state? People warned that rural hospitals would close and that is exactly what has been happening all along, well before the ACA was passed in congress. I didn't hear word one from Mr. Perdue on the subject. It really is all about the tax cuts. He doesn't care if his constituents have to go without care. I think he figures if you can't afford it out of pocket, you don't deserve it.

Scott Knight
Scott Knight

Perdue is about as dumb as a box of rocks.

Chris Fowler
Chris Fowler

If ACA is so bad why wait 2 years to implement? Implement today. Motives, that is why. They have motive.

Elizabeth Chapman
Elizabeth Chapman

Thank You, Senator David Perdue... for Exhibing Guts & Principle!

Bill Stockstill
Bill Stockstill

Oh please, he's doing it for lobbyist donations. Pathetic.

Allan Boyd
Allan Boyd

David Perdue is a huge embarrassment to our great state\U0001f621

Mary Reynoso
Mary Reynoso

I don't respect this man, he's one of the good old boys from Georgia

Arlie Rufus
Arlie Rufus

Well he felt the same about the thousands he fired to outsource their jobs. Georgia deserves this man who wouldn't piss on them if they were on fire. Vote for Purdue and lose your healthcare? Good riddance