Transcript: 10 Freshmen Lawmakers Talk With Diane Sawyer


TIM HUELSKAMP: Diane, I guess I was surprised by the gravity of the situation and seemingly the lack of a crisis response. When you look at $14 trillion of debt and all of the problems in this country. And-- and-- things seem status quo around here. So, I-- I guess that surprised me.

DIANE SAWYER: I was-- I-- I read that you had said there doesn't seem to be enough sense of urgency. From whom? From the re-- the leadership? Even the Republican leadership? From whom?

TIM HUELSKAMP: No, just Wa-- Washington in general. I mean, the American People are ready for some changes. And-- they expect that-- to be delivered. And-- and-- you know, one party was thrown out. And-- and-- they're expecting us to-- to make a difference. And-- so, to see the lack of urgency amongst the people already here was-- was surprising in a way to me.

DIANE SAWYER: I want to ask about some of the first encounters, for instance. To-- the Constitution will be read. How many of you carry-- can you just raise your hand. How many people carry a Constitution with you?

FRANK GIUNTA: Got mine right here.


DIANE SAWYER: And is there a passage of it you're waiting most to be read?

MIKE LEE: I think the part that needs to be read the most is Article I, Section 8. Read in tandem with the Tenth Amendment. It's Article I, Section 8, together with the Tenth Amendment that tells us basically what Congress's powers are. And everything on that list is something Congress can and should do. And for the most part, if it's not in Article I, Section 8, odds are pretty good Congress doesn't really have the authority to do it. Or it's using a really expansive interpretation of one of its integrated powers in order to try to do that.


And-- and a good point about it is-- is, you know, there was a writer from a prominent network recently who said, "Oh, the Constitution's written over 100 years ago, we couldn't possibly understand it." The thing is, is recently-- and this is not an arcane subject. Obamacare passed, the health care takeover passed, and we have a federal judge who says that the commerce clause doesn't allow this. The commerce clause is an important part of the Constitution, but it doesn't mean anything.

And the-- the judge says that inactivity is not commerce. Because if inactivity, me not doing anything, choosing not to buy insurance, if that's commerce, they can regulate anything. My walking, my breathing, my talking. If they can regulate inactivity. So, it's important that we know about the Constitution.

DIANE SAWYER: The New York Times, Senator, said that you felt that the New York Times-- that the Constitution, not the New York Times (LAUGH) actually had a divine quality. That was their words. Is that--

MIKE LEE: I-- I believe the Constitution was written by wise men. And I believe that they were raised up by divine providence to that very purpose. They came at a particular place and time in history when-- ev-- events were right for limited self government here in America. And-- it's-- it's something that we need to respect. Just like all of our laws. But it's our law of laws and we've gotta respect it and we have to honor it.

And among its most prominent attributes. And I think first and foremost among them is the concept that our founding fathers did not want a centralized national government with general police powers. With the power to regulate on any subject.

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