Conservative commentator Charlie Kirk: GOP must 'urgently' address soaring deficit

Conservative commentator Charlie Kirk expressed dismay over the nation’s soaring deficit, saying Republicans must address the issue.

“One of the things that we have to address most urgently is our debt and deficit,” Kirk, founder and president of Turning Point USA, told Hill.TV during an interview at the Politicon political convention over the weekend.

Kirk, a self-proclaimed fiscal hawk, noted that Republicans have long made reducing deficit spending their “nationwide call to action,” particularly under the Obama administration, but he argued that Congress has "stonewalled" President TrumpDonald TrumpHeadaches intensify for Democrats in Florida Stormy Daniels set to testify against former lawyer Avenatti in fraud trial Cheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll MORE’s efforts to pass a budget deal.

“The president recognizes it in the sense that he submitted budgets that would eventually balance,” Kirk said. “Congress has just thrown those out the window and he’s been kind of stonewalled on that.”

Trump in August signed a sweeping budget deal that that increases government spending by $320 billion and suspends the debt ceiling through July 2021.

Kirk’s comments come after the federal deficit for the 2019 budget year neared $1 trillion for the first time in 7 years.

The deficit spiked 26 percent over the past year from $587 billion to $984 billion, according to new figures released by the Treasury Department last week.

Trump’s 2017 tax law, along with his budget deal increasing military spending, added a substantial amount to this deficit.

As a candidate, Trump vowed to wipe out the nation’s debt load, which has increased from approximately $20 trillion to $22 trillion since he took office.

— Tess Bonn