'This Week' Transcript: Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Dick Durbin and Ben Affleck

Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Dick Durbin and Ben Affleck are interviewed.

ByABC News
November 21, 2012, 12:20 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 25, 2012 — -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Good morning, and welcome to "This Week."

Cease-fire. The Middle East pulls back from the brink, but will the truce brokered by Hillary hold? And was this latest skirmish a warm-up for Israel's showdown with Iran?

And here at home, it's back to work on that fiscal cliff. Can both sides strike a bargain before everyone's taxes go up? We'll cover all that and more with our headliners, Senators Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham, plus our powerhouse roundtable, with Matthew Dowd, Time magazine's Joe Klein, the Washington Post's Ruth Marcus, David Sanger of the New York Times, and Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal.

Then, Ben Affleck.

AFFLECK: You saw your parents get killed in front of you?

STEPHANOPOULOS: With war breaking out this week in the Congo, he's here live on what can be done to stop the fighting.


KARL: I'm Jonathan Karl, and I'm going to show you how this clipper (ph) is going to bipartisanship to Washington.

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


STEPHANOPOULOS: Hello, again. You just saw one small step for bipartisanship. Is there more to come in Washington? Congress is back to work this week, top priority, a deal to block those automatic spending cuts and tax increases now set for January 1st, and some smart money is starting to bet that Congress and the president will find a way to avoid that fiscal cliff.

Stocks up this week in anticipation of a deal, with the Dow clocking five straight days of gains. And Black Friday consumer spending was strong, as well, when you add in the proceeds from extra shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

And with that, let's bring in the number-two Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin of Illinois, and top Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Senators, welcome. And, Senator Durbin, let me begin with you. You see those markets going up in anticipation of a deal. Are they right to be optimistic?

DURBIN: Well, they should be optimistic, because we can solve this problem. Unfortunately, for the last 10 days, with the House and Congress gone for the Thanksgiving recess, there hasn't much -- much progress hasn't been made. But tomorrow there's no excuse. We're back in town.

And, George, let me tell you, it gets down to the basics. The House of Representatives has a bipartisan bill passed by the Senate that will spare 98 percent of taxpayers across America from any income tax raises and 97 percent of businesses. It's a bipartisan bill the House should pass to make sure that we go forward with these negotiations without this specter of tax increases for working families.

They also, I might add, have a bipartisan farm bill sent by the Senate that they've been unable to pass and a bipartisan bill for the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization. It's time for the House in the closing days of this session to at least take up those three measures and pass it.