Transcript: 10 Freshmen Lawmakers Talk With Diane Sawyer

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MO BROOKS: Let's also talk about in the context of the role of Congress versus the role of the White House. In the White House you have the commander in chief. As long as he is going to have our troops in Afghanistan, our role in Congress is to make sure that they are adequately funded, that they have the right weapons, they have the right—defensive capabilities. That's our job as Congressmen, and that's what I'm committed to do.

DIANE SAWYER: Just one more question. And forgive me for going back about the debt ceiling. Let's say the Senate, let's say the White House will not budge on what you think is adequate compromise on starting spending cuts. Go right up to the wire. They-- instead of playing chicken, but going right up to the wire. Will you let it all go down?

FRANK GUINTA: Well, they're letting down the American--

DIANE SAWYER: But what-- what-- what would you all do if they just say, let's just call the bluff? Let's go right to the wire?

TIM HUELSKAMP: Diane, part of my frustration is dealing with a White House that promised us-- if we passed their economic plan, unemployment would go down. And fundamentally, their-- their view on the American people I think is wrong.

DIANE SAWYER: But at this point, if they decide to let the date creep up and you're two days before the debt limit--

FRANK GUINTA: But that's irresponsible. When others claim that it's irresponsible for us, those of us who are concerned about raising the debt limit-- I would argue that there is a time to campaign, there is a time to govern. There is now a time to govern, and everybody needs to come to the table with solutions.

DIANE SAWYER: None of you thinks they'll do that?

FRANK GUINTA: I certainly hope they don't.

MALE VOICE: Well, I don't--

MALE VOICE: I guess, we should stay tuned.

MO BROOKS: But we can't control what the White House is going to do. We can only control what we as individuals are going to do.

DIANE SAWYER: Yeah, but would you hold up? Would you say no? Let-- let us--

MO BROOKS: Well, get back to my premise. The budget deficit is unsustainable. It is the greatest threat that we face as a nation. We're spending money we don't have. Eventually, that will result in a collapse of the federal government. Under those circumstances, all the benefits that people are now receiving, they're gone or diminished. National defense. Gone or diminished. That is a major threat. That is a crisis we have to deal with it. I'm hopeful that the White House will be responsible and start dealing with it.

MICHAEL GRIMM: I-- it's well said. And I-- I think that-- Speaker Boehner and our leadership-- gets that. I think that they understand the gravity of the situation, and I do have faith-- that-- that Speaker Boehner-- and the leadership-- is going to work with us, the freshmen class, and-- and with-- with the entire Congress to finally put-- to really change the culture. It's about changing the culture of Washington. This borrow-and-spend mentality has to be changed. And that will not happen overnight. It's not going to happen overnight.

DIANE SAWYER: How worried--

RAND PAUL: You should be asking what do we want to attach to it that would allow us to vote for it. If they attach a balance budget rule that says year in, year out, we have to balance our budget, and we can do that by rule, not the Constitution, just by rule. They attach it to the debt ceiling, I'll vote for it.

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