Over Chili Dogs & Frosted Oranges, Senator David Perdue Talks Breaking Through Washington Gridlock

ATLANTA, GA – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) sat down with 11Alive News’ Vinnie Politan at The Varsity to discuss breaking through Washington gridlock, the debt crisis, and career politicians.

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Gaining Perspective: “My dad gave me some advice as a teenager. He said I don’t care whether you are conservative or liberal, but read and learn what the other side is saying. It will challenge your thoughts and make you understand their perspective. That’s what has been lost in Washington.”

Putting Self-Interests Aside: “It’s going to take leadership in Washington to say let’s put political self-interests aside and get something done for the American people on Social Security, Medicare, or this debt. These are republic-threatening topics.”

80% Solution: “We’ve taken our republic for granted. If people realized the jeopardy we’re in, they’d want to do something outside the box to solve this crisis. That may mean accepting an 80% solution. You’re never going to get 100% of what you want.”

Perfect Example: “With this banking bill, both Democrats and Republicans realized that Dodd-Frank had hurt lending mechanisms in small towns. Small town banks opted out of the home mortgage business, and they’ll go back in now that we’ve reversed these regulations. This bill was supported by 17 Democrats and is a model for breaking through all the gridlock and actually getting things done.”

Career Politicians: “Washington has gotten distracted by the noise of the national media debate and about the election process. The career politician really did not exist until the second half of last century, honestly. But now we’ve got people who see this as their career and I just think that’s wrong, personally.”

$1 Million Per Household: “We’ve got $21 trillion in debt and $130 trillion in future unfunded liabilities. That amounts to about $1 million of debt for every household in America. That’s what politicians have done over the last 50 years.”

Past The Tipping Point: “My mission is to call out this debt crisis. In 2000, we had $6 trillion in debt. Under Bush, Washington added $4 trillion, and under Obama, Washington added $10 trillion. Right now, if we don’t change something, Washington is on track to add another $10 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years. That cannot happen. The world won’t let that happen.”

Competing Globally: “We’ve been trying for 19 years to deepen the port in Savannah five feet. In the meantime, China built one of their largest ports in less than three years. What we’ve got to realize is this is a competitive world now. We can no longer assume our position. We’ve reengaged with the world, it’s working, and we’ve got to put our self-interests aside in order to become competitive again.”


Senator Perdue is the only Fortune 500 CEO in Congress and is serving his first term in the United States Senate, where he represents Georgia on the Armed Services, Banking, Budget, and Agriculture Committees.