Trump critic Sanford forms anti-debt advocacy group

Trump critic Sanford forms anti-debt advocacy group
© Greg Nash

Former Rep. Mark SanfordMark SanfordOn The Money: Business world braces for blue sweep | Federal Reserve chief to outline plans for inflation, economy | Meadows 'not optimistic' about stalemate on coronavirus deal Trump critic Sanford forms anti-debt advocacy group Republicans officially renominate Trump for president MORE (R-S.C.) on Wednesday announced plans to form an anti-deficit and debt advocacy group.

“Our present financial course is unsustainable,” said Sanford, who is also a former governor of South Carolina and ran a brief, unsuccessful GOP primary campaign against President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE focused on the nation's finances.

The organization he is launching, Americans for Debt and Deficit Reduction, will be nonpartisan and nonprofit, according to a news release.


Sanford, who had criticized Trump on key issues while in Congress, lost his seat in 2018 to a primary challenger — state legislator Katie Arrington — whom Trump had endorsed. Arrington went on to lose the general election to Democrat Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamMichigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test Chamber-backed Democrats embrace endorsements in final stretch GOP Rep. Mike Bost tests positive for COVID-19 MORE.

The nation's debt burden had risen precipitously since Trump took office, as he pushed for revenue-losing tax cuts and major increases in military spending. In order to secure the higher defense spending, he agreed to Democratic demands to increase non-defense spending.

But since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, an unprecedented fiscal response has led to record amounts of deficit spending. The deficit for fiscal 2020 is expected to come in at $3.7 trillion, more than 2.5 times the largest deficit on record.

The large deficits have caused the nation's debt burden to swell to 100 percent of GDP for the first time since World War II.

"History shows that soaring national debt, deficits, and government spending are hardly a recipe for national prosperity, and more people need to be informed on this,” Sanford said.


While even many budget hawks agree that deficit spending is proper in times of economic turmoil, and the Federal Reserve has pushed for bold stimulus, concern over the debt among Republicans has thrown a wrench into the latest round of emergency relief funds.

White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsTrump hasn't asked Barr to open investigation into Bidens, McEnany says Trump tests negative for COVID-19 on day of debate The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Iran, Russia election bombshell; final Prez debate tonight MORE, a longtime antagonist of deficit spending, was one of the administration's top negotiators in talks with congressional Democrats, which fell apart earlier this month.

Meadows said Wednesday that he is not optimistic about the talks concluding soon.

Senate Republicans, who failed to agree on their own legislation early in the talks largely over spending concerns, are working on a "skinny" relief package that would address just a handful of relief items, but come in at half the cost of the original GOP proposal.