'This Week' Transcript: Two Powerhouse Roundtables

PHOTO: Intelligence Committee Chair Representative Mike Rogers, (R) Michigan, Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Representative Eliot Engel (D) New York, ABC News George Will, and ABC News Global Affairs Anchor Christiane Amanpour on This Week

A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday morning, February 24, 2013 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning and welcome to This week.

A new cliff is here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These cuts are not smart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a stupid way to govern.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Across the board spending cuts just five days away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is going to have a real impact.

SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY: Balderdash. The president is making stuff up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Will they hit too hard? Are the warnings too hyped? What will this stalemate really mean for you and your family.

Plus, Chinese hackers target American companies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not movie stuff. This is real. It's happening thousands of times a day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Joe Biden targets the NRA.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You don't need an AR-15. Buy a shotgun.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: And the Oscars hit Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a rat's nest in there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: We take on all of the week's politics right now.

ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Reporting from ABC News headquarters George Stephanopoulos.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hello again.

18 months ago, the White House and congress agreed to a doomsday plan across the board spending cuts so unpalatable they would force Washington to find a better fix to our budget mess. No dice. No last minute deal no matter what, that sequester will start on Friday.

The battle over what it mean and who is to blame has already begun. We're going to debate all that on our powerhouse round table. But first some facts, the Pentagon will take the biggest hit from the cuts. Take a look at the breakdown. About half the cuts this year come from defense.

And President Obama warned of dire consequences yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The threat of these cuts has forced the navy to delay the deployment of an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf affecting our ability to respond to threats in an unstable part of the world.

And just this week, the Pentagon announced that if these cuts go through, almost 800,000 defense employees, the equivalent of every person in Miami and Cleveland combined will be forced to take an unpaid leave.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: And with that, let's take the debate to our first roundtable headlined by the chairman of the House intelligence committee Mike Rogers of Michigan, the lead Democrat on the House foreign affairs committee Eliot Engel and our own George Will and Christiane Amanpour.

Welcome to all of you. And Congressman Rogers let's begin. Are the -- is the harm as great as the president suggests?

ROGERS: Well, there will be impact on national security, there is no doubt. And I think there's some misnomers. So it's really only 2 cents on the dollar over the whole federal budget, but they've scrunched that down into seven months and highlighted, or at least put most of the burden on the Defense Department. So that is going to have an impact. That's a 13 percent cut.

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