'This Week' Transcript: Two Powerhouse Roundtables

KARL: And I don't expect to see much of a change on that, although on one issue, even as he's going to be proposing new initiatives -- and these are initiatives that will cost money. We're not talking massive new stimulus program here, but these are new spending initiatives. He is going to make what White House officials are describing as a progressive case for deficit reduction, that that still needs to be done, even entitlement reform. And the progressive case is, if these programs continue to grow out of control, they crowd out other initiatives, other priorities that are -- you know, that progressives hold dear, on education, on -- on infrastructure, you know, social programs.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the other things we're going to see, Congressman Ellison, you and several other members of the Democratic caucus going to be bringing as guests into the chamber victims of gun violence.

ELLISON: That's right. You know, as a matter of fact, a young man named Semi Rahimam (ph), who lost his father in a tragic event in Minneapolis, is going to be joining me, and Jim Langevin and I and Rosa DeLauro have asked our colleagues. We've got about 30 members who are inviting victims of gun violence to be in the gallery. And we're really looking forward to -- to them being with us, because they -- they're witnesses to the need for sane, sensible reform in the area of gun violence prevention.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Cole, what's your sense of what can get done on that this year? Gabby Giffords will also be in the hall on Tuesday. It seems to me, reading the tea leaves, it looks like some kind of consensus is building around universal background checks, but the assault weapons ban likely to go nowhere.

COLE: I think, certainly, on the assault weapon ban, you're absolutely correct. Look, I think this starts in the Senate, and we'll see what Harry Reid can get done. I mean, most of the key players have NRA A ratings, including the majority leader, Chairman Leahy. You've got six Democrats up in states that the president got 42 percent or less in. I don't think they're going to be too enamored with this. So I think that pushes you toward things like background checks.

In the House, it's going to be tougher. I mean, that's just the reality of it politically. So I would expect something to be done. I think there's going to be a lot of hearings, but probably more in the mental health area, potentially in some of the background check area, but anything that hints towards some sort of national registry won't make it, and anything that really materially makes it more difficult for people to exercise Second Amendment rights, not going to happen.

ELLISON: You know, I -- I tell you, I don't -- I don't agree. I hope that -- I think the odds of something happening are determined by the determination of people who push those things. And when the folks who are going to be joining me and Jim Langevin, we don't want to take the right of folks to own a gun away. I own a gun myself. But we do believe that when you got 20 dead first-graders, we need action in this country. And I'm sorry, most NRA members agree with us, by the way, the membership.

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