Face the Nation transcripts September 29, 2013: Durbin, Paul, Blackburn, Van Hollen, Brzezinski

The latest on the budget battle, a possible government shutdown and negotiations with Iran
The latest on the budget battle, a possible g... 46:16

(CBS News) Below is a transcript of "Face the Nation" on September 29, 2013, hosted by CBS News' Bob Schieffer. Guests include: Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., Reps. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Zbigniew Brzezinski, Gerald Seib, David Ignatius, Clarissa Ward, Margaret Brennan and John Dickerson.

SCHIEFFER: And good morning, again. Well, Congress was at work until early this morning, but instead of averting a shutdown that will begin Monday at midnight the House voted to postpone the implementation of ObamaCare for a year before they will agree to fund the government. That now goes back to the Senate for further action, but leaders say it is dead on arrival. Nothing is likely to happen today, because Congress has headed home for the weekend and won't be back in session until tomorrow. So we are going start this morning with Kentucky Republican and key Tea Party leader Rand Paul. He is in Bowling Green this morning. Senator, thank you so much. Let me just ask you flat out. Are you willing to take the blame if the government shuts down?

PAUL: You know, I have said all along it is not a good idea to shut down government, I have been saying that for months but also think that it is not a good idea to give the president 100 percent of what he wants on ObamaCare without compromise. We have been offering him compromises, many on his side say there are problems, the Teamsters say there is a problem, Warren Buffett says there are problems, even former President Bill Clinton says there are problems with ObamaCare, why won't the president negotiate and come to a compromise on trying to make ObamaCare less bad?

SCHIEFFER: Well, Senator, I kind of take your point and I think a lot of people agree there are things to be done about this law that could make it better, but how can you hold the entire federal government hostage just because you want to postpone his signature achievement? He is not going to do that. The Senate is not going to do that. You know that and you know even if they did that the president would veto it, I mean, isn't this just an exercise to accomplish nothing?

PAUL: Well, I guess, Bob, what I don't know, he already by executive fiat has delayed the employer mandate, which is a key component of that, we think that is going outside the Constitution and the president is not allowed to write legislation. So all we are asking is, if he thinks it's so messed up that he's going to delay a big part of ObamaCare on his own, and it looks like maybe he is going to do some special favors for the unions, why don't we actually bring it to Congress and try to figure out how to meet somewhere in the middle? But see, he is saying 100 percent of ObamaCare or the highway. The president is the one saying I will shut down government if you don't give me everything I want on ObamaCare. That to me is the president being intransigent and being unwilling to compromise.

SCHIEFFER: But the law has already been passed, Senator, let me just ask you this question. I am old enough to remember when Barry Goldwater ran for president in 1964, and he said I would rather be right than president. And you know, he got his wish. He lost in a landslide. Aren't you and the other Tea Party leaders leading the Republican Party to the same fate?

PAUL: Well, see, the thing is is that once things are passed doesn't mean they are set in stone and no future Congress will look at them. For example, when Reagan came in, the rates had been 70 percent on the top bracket for 40 years, but he didn't say, oh, that's the law so we can't readdress it, ObamaCare was passed. But the public has a great deal of misgivings, I have a lot of misgivings, I am worried that there won't be many choices left, that you are going to destroy the individual market. If I want to go out and buy a high deductible plan, ObamaCare is making that illegal, so I think there is really a problem with limiting people's choices and we should continue to have this debate, but it is the president who is refusing to come to the negotiating table. We have been offering, we have now offered a new compromise, our new compromise is not getting rid of his signature achievement, but delaying it to make sure that it doesn't totally destroy the insurance market in our country.

SCHIEFFER: Is there -- let me just ask you this. Is there a way out of this? Democrats are not going to go along with postponing healthcare. You don't have the votes to override a veto. Is there a third way, is there some way to prevent the government from having to shut down and putting 800,000 federal workers on furlough? These are people, many of whom work by the hour. They need the money. This is going to -- this is really going to hurt them. Is there a way to prevent that from happening?

PAUL: I think there is a way. And I have been saying all along that we should negotiate. See, historically, Bob, the way it worked is if the House was Republican and passed something and the Senate was Democrat and passed something, you had a conference committee, equal number of Republicans and Democrats, and you hashed out your differences. Why don't we have a conference committee on this? You could appoint one today; they could meet tomorrow and hash out the differences. That is the way it is supposed to work. Republicans and Democrats are supposed to find a middle ground, but right now, it is the president saying my way or the highway, if I don't get everything I want, if I don't get ObamaCare the Democrats passed without any Republican support, the Democrats are saying they are willing to shut down the government.

SCHIEFFER: But, you know, Senator, with all due respect it is a little more complicated than that, because you have got not just Republicans versus Democrats, you have got Republicans versus Republicans. You have got Senate Republicans versus House Republicans. You have got Republican Senator Ted Cruz who is advising House Republicans to go against their own leadership in the House, so it is going to take more than a conference committee. I mean you would have to set up 15 or 20 committees to try to resolve all of the controversies that are going on right now. Do you disagree with that?


PAUL: Well, I didn't say it was going to be easy, but I would say that that is the way you are supposed to hash it out. The president shouldn't get -- I mean, 53 percent of the public voted for the president, 47 percent or so voted for Romney. In the House the majority of the House members are elected by Republicans. Why would it not be that we defend what we support? The president defends what he supports and that we have to find a compromise? The president is saying no compromise. I will not touch ObamaCare. But the interesting thing is, he has amended ObamaCare probably 15 times already, but he does it without any legislative approval, which we think is unconstitutional, but it is also showing that he is just going to fix the law on his own without any approval of Congress. We think he should come to Congress. We should negotiate how to fix or make ObamaCare less bad. We are the party that is willing to compromise. They are the party that says no way. We are not touching ObamaCare.