David Perdue: 'National Debt Surpassed $20 Trillion and No One in Washington Blinked'

November 1, 2017

Following multiple Senate votes confirming President Trump's judicial nominees, Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.) said Congress needs to address the national debt.

Perdue declared on the Senate floor that "our national debt surpassed $20 trillion for the first time and no one in Washington blinked an eye."

Perdue argued that solving the debt is "going to take a multifaceted approach," including tax reform and spending cuts.

The way to fix it is in our grasp. No. 1, we need to fix Washington's broken budget process. Two: We need to root out all the wasteful spending in the federal government today. Three: We've got to grow the economy by peeling and pulling back on a lot of regulations that are unnecessary and by revamping our tax structure and by unleashing our energy potential. No. 4: We need to save Social Security and Medicare and, lastly, we finally have to get after the real drivers of spiraling health care costs.

Perdue mentioned that the Government Accountability Office put the country's wasteful spending at over $700 billion, which is more than what the country spends on national security.

"It's unconscionable that I'm standing here before the United States Senate tonight reminding us all that there is $700 billion a year that we spend in error, just bureaucratic error," Perdue said.

Then, Perdue tied tax reform to solving the debt crisis.

"Along with reducing our spending by almost 20 percent each year, we need to grow the economy to solve this debt crisis," he said. "The single most important thing that we can do to grow the economy next year is to change this tax code."

Perdue credited cutting regulations under "the president's guidance" for a strong economy in 2017, but suggested it could be even stronger.

"Who knows what this economy should be growing at right now if we just get Washington out of the way," Perdue said.

"Part of the way to do that is to correct this archaic tax policy. Changing the tax code will mean more jobs and higher wages for American workers," Perdue said, calling tax reform a "historic opportunity."

But Perdue ended his speech by saying that tackling the debt will require more than just tax reform.

"I urge my colleagues to take seriously this opportunity we have of changing our tax code," Perdue said. "It's historic. At the same time, we've got to get serious about eliminating our redundant and outrageous, unnecessary spending."