Transcript: 10 Freshmen Lawmakers Talk With Diane Sawyer


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.

MARLIN STUTZMAN: Well, I think this is also--

RAND PAUL: That should be our leverage. We should negotiate.

MARLIN STUTZMAN: The-- the mentality in Washington is not what John F. Kennedy used to-- what he said was, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." The mentality in Washington is look what our government-- what our government can do for the American people. We've got to get away from that mentality, and realize it's too expensive. We can't afford it.

DIANE SAWYER: How many of you--

MIKE LEE: This will be the legacy of the Tea Party movement. Not protesting, problem solving. Sorry. It's what the Tea Party movement is about and that's why we're here.

DIANE SAWYER: How-- how many of you have seen Mister Smith Goes to Washington? (LAUGHTER) Or Mrs. Smith? You've all seen it? Every one of you?

MO BROOKS: I've seen it many times.

DIANE SAWYER: Watch it again before you came?



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