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Biden on debt limit plan: People are angry

Vice President Joe Biden was Capitol Hill Monday pressing reluctant democrats to support the compromise plan to cut spending and raise the nation's debt ceiling. Shortly before a successful House vote on the plan, Biden sat down with Scott Pelley to discuss the debt, politics, and whether the government has become completely dysfunctional. A transcript follows:

Biden: There's not many people out there who think we can deal with our long-term economic stability without more revenues, as well as structural changes in entitlement programs. Those two things have to occur. They just have to occur. And sometimes it takes the kind of brinksmanship that was employed here, which I think was extremely dangerous.

Pelley: Well, what is this? Divided government or dysfunctional government?

Biden: Up until this compromise, it was dysfunctional.

Pelley: You know, a lot of folks at home have watched this over the last few weeks and they're angry.

Biden: I don't blame 'em.

Pelley: You understand why?

Biden: Oh, are you kidding me? How can you explain this? How can you explain the fact that grown men and women are unwilling to budge up till now, and still some of them are still unwilling to budge, by taking an absolute position: "My way or no way." That's not governing. That's no way to govern. You can't govern that way.

Pelley: You've been up on Capitol Hill most of the day today...

Biden: I have.

Pelley: ...twisting the arms of reluctant Democrats.

Biden: What I went up there to do was to listen. People are angry by some of the tactics have been used. And they wanted to vent. And that's part of being vice president or president. You go up and you listen. And I explained methodically what was contained in this. And I predict to you that the end result will be those Democrats will vote for this in the House and the Senate.

Pelley: You've been here 36 years. Have you ever seen a bipartisan deficit reduction panel have its recommendations passed into law?

Biden: Yeah. And even when those things haven't worked perfectly, what they've had is they've had a significant impact on the direction and the movement of the way this place -- the ebb and flow of this place. And so I think what you're gonna see is that this -- whether they come out with a specific recommendation, two things have changed -- three things. The American people and the people here understand you need to make the tax system fair, so everybody pays their fair share. You need to do something about long-term structural entitlements, so you can preserve them, at the same time make them feasible over the next 30 years. And you need to cut discretionary spending, without eating your seed corn, so you can't grow the economy through innovation and infrastructure.

Pelley: Has Washington lost its ability to make deals and talk to each other? There has been so much name calling, so much finger pointing.

Biden: This is a cycle. I predict to you that a lot of those new members who came here with "my way or the highway," they'll either be on the highway or they'll learn that they have to have compromise.

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