Rep. Gabbard: New members of Congress are "frustrated"


(CBS News) Hawaii's Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the youngest woman in the House of Representatives, reiterated her frustration with her freshman term Monday on "CBS This Morning."

The first Hindu elected to Congress, the first American Samoa in Congress, and the first of two female combat veterans to serve on Capitol Hill,Gabbard publicly admitted last week that she finds it, "very, very frustrating serving in a Congress that's completely unpopular," she told the audience at the Make Progress Summit.

"I can have a 16-hour day and at the end of the day, feel like I've accomplished nothing because we're talking about issues that seem to be idiotic," she added at the event.

Monday on "CBS This Morning," Gabbard explained, "I think the frustration that I have felt, even being six months as a member of Congress, that other colleagues of mine feel is reflective of the frustration that we hear every single time we go back home to our district, from people who are saying, 'Look, we just want you to get something done for us."

Gabbard reiterated that she is committed to policy she feels improves education, reduces the deficient, and empowers small business owners to bolster local economies and explained that others in Congress share her sense of frustration that more progress has not been made on these issues, on their watch.

"There are a growing number of people who are saying 'We're not here to obstruct. We're here to get something done, and lets work together to make that happen.'"

Gabbard, an Iraq war combat veteran, is strongly invested in legislation that addresses the proseuction of sexual assaults in the military. Earlier this year, she introduced the Military Justice Improvement Act in the House, the same bill introduced bySenator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in the Senate.

Gabbard, an Iraq war combat veteran and a captain in the Hawaii Army National Guard, backs Gillibrand's stance that the decision to prosecute sexual assaults in the military must be taken out of commanders' hands.

She insisted, "This is an issue that is a travesty and is really undermining our national security, when you look at it...Up until really recently, I don't think any of us understood the depth and breadth of how bad this really is, and how we need to take action now."

Gabbard is hopeful Congress will overcome the gridlock in Washington, with bipartisan support for plans dealing with the deficit, internal military issues, and military deployment developing on Capitol Hill.