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Entrance Interviews: Incoming Senators Look to Tackle Gridlock

As the new Congress convened on Jan. 3, the PBS NewsHour spoke with a handful of incoming freshman senators. Here is a roundup of those conversations.


  1. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on the Deficit, Gun Rights, Immigration
  2. Jan. 7 | Newly-seated Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, won his new job with strong support from the tea party, taking over a spot long occupied by retired Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison. Judy Woodruff spoke with Cruz about his stances on the deficit and the debt ceiling, as well as how his experience as the son of a Cuban immigrant shaped his perspective on immigration reform.
  3. Sen.-elect Deb Fischer on Spending, Gun Control
  4. Jan. 1 | A cattle rancher by trade, Sen.-elect Deb Fischer, R-Neb., would be sworn into Congress after an election campaign which surprised many within her own party. Judy Woodruff spoke with Fischer about how her experience as a state senator has prepared her for the U.S. Senate, the need to address spending and gun control.

  5. Sen.-Elect Heidi Heitkamp on Gun Control, Keystone Pipeline
  6. Dec. 20 | Former North Dakota attorney general -- and the first female in that state elected to the Senate --Democratic Sen.-elect Heidi Heitkamp talked to Jeffrey Brown about how she might react as a legislator to the violent events in Newtown, Conn., her support for the Keystone Pipeline and what's ahead for budget negotiations in Congress.

  7. Talking Revenue, Transition to Senate With Jeff Flake
  8. Nov. 29 I Correspondent Ray Suarez spoke with U.S. Representative turned Sen.-elect Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who will take over retiring Sen. Jon Kyl's seat. Flake reflected on his hopes for the next term, including how he plans to work across party lines to find solutions to U.S. budget issues.
  9. Senator Tim Kaine 'Heartened' by Bipartisan Budget Solutions
  10. Nov. 23 I Judy Woodruff sat down with former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, newly elected to the U.S. Senate. The Democratic lawmaker discussed his optimism for Congress, being able to work across the aisle, his hopes for finding the right way to balance the budget and make compromises on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
  11. Incoming Independent Senator King on Caucusing With the Dems
  12. Nov. 19 I Angus King is one of two Independents in the incoming U.S. Senate, after winning a seat in Maine held for 18 years by retiring Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe. King is expected to caucus with Democrats. Jeffrey Brown spoke to the senator-elect after his win.