AMY WALTER: And then you also hear from Democrats saying, it's going to be terrible, terrible things are going to happen, TSA lines, meat inspection, the world is going to collapse, dogs and cats are going to live together. Republicans say it's not going to be that bad. People are-- most people aren't even going to notice it. So it's not just that the expectations of what should happen are different; it's the expectation of what is going to happen is different.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, you know, John, we heard these reports seeping out of Capitol Hill this week that John Boehner, the Republican leader, is already talking about let's just pass the continuing resolution to keep the government funded into August, which is just another way of saying this is the "kick the can down the road again" bill.
JOHN DICKERSON: Right, this goes to Michael's point--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Which says to me that maybe that is what's going to happen because they can't figure out what to do?
JOHN DICKERSON (CBS News Political Director): And this is no way to run a railroad. That would at least take a horrible option and replace it with just a bad option. Just to go back, I mean this was-- because they couldn't get their homework done in the first place, they said, let's launch a meteorite at Washington that will be so terrible that everybody will-- will do something, and they have done nothing. And two points that are interesting is, Congressional Budget Office put out a report and said based on the current trends, the country is not going to get back to its growth where it should be till 2017. That's the economy here that we're in. And-- and on this question of blame, the President feels he's got the high hand. His approval ratings are twenty, thirty points ahead of the Republicans. But at the end of his term we're-- we're at 2017, people will look back at the Obama economy and if this sequester has the economic effect, the head of the CBO said seven hundred and fifty thousand jobs possibly if this doesn't get averted, a million jobs other people have said, that will hurt the President. Regardless of whether it's the Republicans' fault, regardless if he didn't have a willing partner, that's just the way history looks at things. And that's the pressure on the White House. We all know about the pressure on the Republicans. So that's why John Boehner wants to maybe move to something that's not as bad. We'll see what the President wants to do. But right now it looks like it's going to happen.
BOB SCHIEFFER: What about this whole question on immigration, a lot of people seem to think that something could actually happen. At least they were saying that before the President made his State of the Union speech. He says it's a big high-priority item. But, you know, John Boehner said to us the other day at breakfast. He said, "Look, my greatest fear here is that the President will get in the way." He said, you know, there is a good, solid, bipartisan effort going on on the Hill to do this. He said, "I just hope the President would let that work its will." Now we learn that the White House is leaking its own plan. Is there-- what's the politics of all?
MICHAEL GERSON: Well, I think in the State of the Union he didn't get in the way. He was very centrist and conciliatory in that speech. And I think Republicans were happy that they were getting some cover there.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Yeah.
MICHAEL GERSON: This week the question is whether it's accidental or purposeful. Some Republicans I talked to this morning thought it was accidental but it does feed a fear, which is a lot of Republicans think, well, eventually he's going to pull the rug out from under us. And this I think adds to that-- that concern. It also highlights a point that there is a internal Democratic debate because this leak did not include a guest worker program, which is what unions object to, and which Republicans insist on. So that's going to be a big issue coming up about how the White House positions itself on that type of issue.
BOB SCHIEFFER: What about the whole situation within the Republican Party, Amy? Here you had Rand Paul make his own State of the Union--
AMY WALTER: Right.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --response, speaking, I guess, for-- he would say for the Tea Party side. Don't the Republicans have-- have a lot to work out here amongst themselves?
AMY WALTER: On immigration and a whole lot of other issues. I mean they understand intellectually that demographics are catching up with them and they have to find a way to reach out to Hispanic voters. They cannot lose them by forty-four points like Mitt Romney did. At the same time their party base is not where they need-- that the leaders need them to be-- to be able to accept a lot of the changes, not just on immigration but I think what's even more interesting is regardless of whether an immigration bill passes, being able to win over Hispanic voters means that you can reach them on other issues, and when you look at where the base of the Republican Party is eighty percent of them say we want smaller government, fewer services. This was a Washington Post-Kaiser poll. Sixty-seven percent of Hispanics say we want bigger government, more services. So on the fundamental role of government, you have a party, the Republican Party, that's not going to be able to reach where Hispanics are. That's going to be a tougher problem even than immigration.
BOB SCHIEFFER: John, what happens-- I mean I hate this word sequester, I wish we could think of another word.
AMY WALTER: Meteorite is good.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I remember who was that guy that worked for Jimmy Carter, remember, and he-- he kept talking about inflation and they said you can't use that word and so he said, okay, I'll call it a banana, and they went on. But let's say the sequester happens, which it-- it appears is going to happen, what happens after that? I mean, will Congress then do something try to cobble together something?
JOHN DICKERSON: Well, only if the two sides can get past this fundamental debate. And we saw it in the State of the Union. The President was saying smarter government. What Republicans heard, when they heard those of some thirty-odd programs was, no, bigger government. When the President says it's not going to add one dime to the de-- deficit, that's a laugh line for Republicans. There is a debate abut how to grow the economy. Republicans believe you shrink government that creates free enterprise, that grows the economy. The President said you-- says you have to invest. You can't grow the economy through cuts alone. As long as that fundamental debate still exists, we'll keep having these moments of crisis. And then you add to that, of course, the hyper-partisanship.
BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. I think what they'll do is it will happen and then they'll kick the can down the road by passing a continuing resolution to keep funding the government. We'll be right back.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And that's it for us today. I hope you'll join us on Sunday when we'll be checking in with some of the nation's governors, including South Carolina Republican Nikki Haley and Maryland Democrat, Martin O'Malley, right here FACE THE NATION.