David Perdue: It’s time to work with Democrats on health law

U.S. Sen. David Perdue said Republicans must strike a compromise with Democrats on a healthcare overhaul after the House GOP’s plan to go it alone ended in a disastrous failure.

“How’d the other direction work out? It didn’t work out very well when we pretty much ignored them,” he said of the doomed GOP proposal, which attracted no Democratic support.

“There’s a great chasm up there and I would argue that polarization is one of our great threats to solving a problem. I believe there’s no danger to finding a compromise solution,” Perdue said after a luncheon address in Brookhaven. “That’s what I said when I ran and I believe it.”

He didn’t offer any specifics on how he would cobble together enough bipartisan support behind a new healthcare proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, but he chastised Republicans for making the “same mistakes the Democrats did” after Barack Obama’s election.

“Now it’s time to sober up,” he said, adding that more than 90 Georgia counties are down to a single healthcare provider.

“We’re either going to do it now or we’re going to be forced to do it later.”

Perdue also weighed in on other debates:

On a proposed tax overhaul: He expressed broad support for simplifying tax structure and reduce the corporate income tax rate, but he drew the line on the House GOP proposal for a so-called border adjustment tax to be levied on some imported goods.

“I think the border adjustment tax is DOA in the Senate,” he said.

On Georgia’s Sixth District race: He said he backed former state Sen. Dan Moody because he felt a “responsibility” to support the north Fulton Republican in the crowded April 18 race.

“He’s the right guy right now. He’s an outsider, a business guy,” he said. “I know he has the heart to go up and try to change things up there and break the gridlock.”

On protesters urging him to hold more town halls: He said he held “impromptu” town hall meetings during a visit during the last recess to the state Capitol and that he and his staff often meet with constituents.

“Right now, it’s a question of method more than anything,” said Perdue. “I’m quite happy that we’re getting the input I need to have.”

On his relationship with Donald Trump: “I have influence in the White House and I’m going to use it. I’m not going to be bashful,” he said, adding: ““He’s not a choir boy, and he doesn’t claim to be. What he wants is results.”

On the ‘Bubba Lens’: Bubba saw it for what it was: Dysfunction, gridlock, partisan politics. And they were seeing how those results produced effects on their lives, so they rose up.”

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.