Rep. Scott: Withhold judgment on gun laws


Senator-designate Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C, appeared on "Face the Nation" on Sunday to discuss gun violence and the looming "fiscal cliff."

Scott, who will be sworn in as interim senator after Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., steps down on Jan. 1 and will run for a full term when his appointment elapses in 2014, will be the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction,

Asked whether he agrees with the NRA's call for armed guards in schools to prevent gun violence, Scott withheld judgment on any adjustments to gun laws in the wake of last week's tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., saying we should see what emerges from President Obama's commission on gun violence before opining.

"I think the president has just established a committee to take a serious, holistic look at what we need to do as a nation to make that our kids are safe," said Scott. "To rush to judgment, I think is a bit premature, on what we should do. I think after we have the committee's report we should take a very serious look at whatever it takes to keep our kids safe at school."

Pressed by Schieffer on whether he would support the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, Scott reiterated, "I would love to see what comes out of the committee," adding, "Understanding what happened and why - after we have those answer, we'll be in a much better position to decide the path forward."

On the "fiscal cliff," Scott brushed aside a question about House Speaker John Boehner's failure to rally the GOP conference around his "Plan B" proposal, arguing that "the House has acted already" and that the ball is now in Democrats' hands. "We stand prepared to be here in Washington whenever the president or the Senate has a proposal that we can take and act on."

Asked whether the House's rejection of Boehner's "Plan B" amounted to a vote of no confidence and whether Boehner should step aside as a result, Scott defended Boehner and predicted that he "will be the Speaker next year without any question."

"The onus right now is on Senator Reid and the president to come up with a solution, make it a piece of legislation, pass it through the Senate, present it to the House and let's get back to the bargaining table," said Scott. "All year long we've seen from the leadership in the House at least a clear line of what we're willing to do. What we haven't seen come out of the Senate yet is a single piece of legislation that addresses the crisis."

Scott also declined to comment on reports that former Gov. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., who resigned after revelations of an extramarital affair, may run for Scott's congressional seat. "My understanding is we may have 25 or 30 candidates running for that first congressional district seat...This is going to be a very active primary," said Scott. "The citizens of the first district" will make "their voice heard through the vote."