Republican Freshmen: Four Faces of Washington's Reshaped Political Landscape

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CNN: Let's ask this question. Because you do something like take on Medicare and we know what happens. Democrats will skewer Republicans as dismantling Medicare. As we know, seniors are extremely reticent to having Medicare changes. People who are counting on benefits and maybe are afraid they're not going to be there in the way they expect them to be will be afraid of this proposal. And there will be a rhetorical firestorm around it. Are you prepared for that, you were on the other side of that going into this midterm election?

GRAVES: Well status quo brings you bankruptcy.

LABRADOR: There won't be Medicare for anyone in six years. So if we don't do something to fix it there will be no Medicare. And I think the American people understand that. I think if we do our job, which is to communicate to the American people that the real dire straits that America is in, I think they will accept that and actually they will applaud us for doing it.

GOSAR: I think [Democrats are] going to engage themselves in that process. They understand we're broke. And what part of broke doesn't anybody understand? There is no money and the system will break. I've always been partial to the view of insanity is trying to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. Thank God somebody came forward and it's not just Paul Ryan. We have the President's independent council as well. It should be looked at both sides and have that open discussion across the board.

On deficit reduction:

TIME: Obama's deficit reduction commission came out with a plan. But that plan involves raising taxes by $180 billion dollars over ten years. Is that something that any of you would consider at all?

GOSAR: We've seen status quo of tax and spend. And it hasn't worked. We're seeing businesses leave this country right and left. What we have to do is we're talking about one part of the solution. And that is cutting spending. But we also have to get Americans back to work. And we have to get competitive in the marketplace and allow people to get back to work.

LABRADOR: I think Paul Ryan's budget does assume that we're going do broaden the [tax] base. So we have to be clear. We're going to reduce taxes. But you have to get rid of some of the loopholes that are out there. You have special interests that have worked really hard to get some of these loopholes into law. So I think we are going to do that. There's just not going to be an overall tax increase. But you will see lowering the tax rate and broadening the base.

TIME: The last two times Congress did deficit reduction, it was the kind of thing where everybody had to hold hands together and jump. There were things in the bill that Democrats didn't like and things in the bills that Republicans didn't like. You have to have pain somewhere. You have to lose something, don't you? So what would you be willing to give up here?

GRAVES: The easy way out is to increase taxes. We'll see the president talk about that, that that's the easy way to fix problems. But Ryan's plan doesn't raise taxes. It begins bringing the two – the revenue and the spending levels back together. It pulls us back towards a balanced budget. So it can be done.

GOSAR: I also think are we the first generation that our kids are going to have it worse off than we did. We have to look at it that way, whether it be an Independent or whoever you are. But I think people are astounded that we're going to turn this over to our kids and grandkids worse off than with we found it. I don't think that sits well with the American public.

BUERKLE: And that's not a partisan issue, that's an American issue. That's why we try to take partisan comments out of it. This is an American problem. This faces all of the next generation, not just of the Republicans or Democrats.

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