This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," Dec. 21, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Should the GOP be on alert? Are they on probation with the Tea Party? Earlier, we went to Capitol Hill, where Congresswoman Michele Bachmann went "On the Record."
VAN SUSTEREN: Congresswoman, nice to see you.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN.: Good to see you, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: A lot of activity here, even though it's rather late into the season.
BACHMANN: It is. It's lame duck, and we should all be at home getting ready for Christmas. And instead, we're still here causing mischief in Washington, D.C.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know, I'd like to give all of you hell because, you know, you're all -- and I suppose that I should be speaking to a Democrat that controls the agenda. But you all knew months ago (INAUDIBLE) October 1 was going to roll around, yet you didn't do a budget. Still haven't done a budget. So it's not like we feel sorry for all of you still working.
BACHMANN: No. People shouldn't feel sorry for us because our job is to pass a budget, pass a spending bill, pass a tax bill. None of that was done. And as you know, the tax compromise bill was just recently passed, and now we're looking at the spending bill. And I think later tonight we will pass that one.
VAN SUSTEREN: Next year Republicans will control the agenda. Will you have things done on time?
BACHMANN: Yes, we will, and under budget.
VAN SUSTEREN: We are rolling on tape.
Here's a number I think you will like. The Rasmussen reports 41 percent of voters think the Tea Party will play a bigger role in next year's campaigns in 2010. You agree?
BACHMANN: I do. Voters showed up and spoke clearly. I think the Tea Party will be a big presence in the next election.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why?
BACHMANN: I think people want what the Tea Party is talking about, which is, don't spend more money than what are taking in. Make sure we done raise taxes and act within the bounds of the constitution. Those are the hallmarks of the Tea Party caucus that's what people want us to do.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think the Tea Party is a little disenchanted, for instance, with the tax. I imagine Tea Party ideology is they want to tax extension for eternity.
BACHMANN: I think there's a division of opinion, but I think the Tea Party was not in favor of the tax compromise primarily because it was not paid for. When you are looking at two percent cut to the employee share of the payroll, that's an immediate $111 billion deficit blown open in the Social Security trust fund.
And that is not good. That means you have to go to the general treasury to get that money to pay those checks. And so that means instantaneous deficit spending.
VAN SUSTEREN: I take it the Tea Party Movement would prefer to have the tax cuts extended even if there weren't those spending cuts?
BACHMANN: They would want to see tax cuts extended, but they also get serious about spending cuts.
VAN SUSTEREN: How are you going to get serious? How do the American people get a commitment that there will be spending cuts?
BACHMANN: I think you will see coming out of the budget Republicans have put forward, and it will be serious cuts. One place we could begin with Fannie Mae, the secondary mortgage company. Right now they have an unlimited credit card they were given by the Treasury Secretary. There's been well over $100 billion dollars spent. We are continuing to spend money. We need to pull that credit card back.
VAN SUSTEREN: Where is the oversight? We always hear about how much waste there is. We haven't seen a terrific amount of effort to collect that waste or oversight. Are we going to see something different with the new congress?
BACHMANN: You're going to see something very different. Darrell Issa is in charge of the oversight committee, and you will see him very active. I'm seeking a seat on the oversight committee on financial services. This is the committee that oversees the Federal Reserve.
This is a big story that only lasted one day, I think we need to bring more attention to it. The Federal Reserve essentially backed up $3.5 trillion in spending, loans that were made to foreign banks as well as U.S. companies. I think you will see further investigation into that and into a lot of the obligations that the Federal Reserve makes.
VAN SUSTEREN: Some oversight is political, to get your enemy. Some political oversight is to make sure the government is accountable. How can we ensure this going to be good political oversight?
BACHMANN: People paying attention is the main thing. One good example is Harry Truman, a Democrat. Harry Truman was committed when he was president and before in his previous office to make sure that he had fair and honest accounting books. I don't think anyone on either side of the aisle Republican or democrat would say Harry Truman was a crook. He was a fair and honest man.
We need that to make sure we have fair and honest accounting. When Republicans are in charge they need to open up the books and let the chips fall where they may.
VAN SUSTEREN: We've soon a lot of boxes around here, people moving around.
BACHMANN: You can hear it too.
VAN SUSTEREN: How is lame duck different behind the scenes from the other part of the session?
BACHMANN: If you want my real opinion, the lame duck is awful. In my opinion it is unconstitutional. The 20th amendment passed in 1933 was meant to eliminate all future lame duck sessions. Congress didn't want to see happen what is happening now.
Consider, we are doing all of the spending the tax bill, a nuclear disarmament treaty, "don't ask, don't tell," they are trying to do amnesty for illegal aliens, all in a couple weeks. In other words, a year's worth of work after the voters spoke at the polls.
So the people spoke, they don't want what is being passed in Congress. We shouldn't be doing this. It is really against the 20th Amendment to the constitution.
VAN SUSTEREN: Because you didn't do it before the election. Why aren't Republicans screaming a little more?
BACHMANN: I was.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK, how were you screaming?
BACHMANN: I was screaming in editorials, town hall meetings, various newspaper accounts where I wrote articles. That's what we need to do to let the people what is going on. Because we were so effective, speaking out, people were educated, they showed up at the polls and the Tea Party smoke loud and clear. You talked about it on your show the level of spending that has gone on in Washington is not paid for.
VAN SUSTEREN: But spending is one issue, nobody is talking about waste. The waste issue gets ignored.
BACHMANN: It won't under oversight. You made the right statement, and that's what we have to do with oversight. Oversight will look backwards, but it also needs to look currently at what we are spending as well.
Again, I believe whether it is a Republican administration or Democrat, we have to look carefully. The Tea Party is not Republican or Democrat. It is really people who want the country to work. They are practical people and they want the country to work.
VAN SUSTEREN: A little thorn in the side of the establishment GOP.
BACHMANN: That's OK. I think that's a good thing. We have to keep them honest. I consider the Tea Party the "keep them honest" crowd. We all could do well with that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Now Congressman Michele Bachmann, behind the scenes everyone is saying you are running for the United States Senate. Yes or no?
BACHMANN: Not so. I'm here doing my work.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is that no, maybe? People are asking and wondering.
BACHMANN: They are asking. I just flew into Washington, D.C. and I was told that is the number within question coming into the office today. It is nothing I've thought about. I had a tough race winning this time. All I'm focused on now is committee assignments. I just found out I was put on the intelligence committee, I'm thrilled about that. Hopefully I'll be on the oversight committee. We have enough work to do and I want to focus on that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Brett Favre, your Minnesota Vikings quarterback, got hurt.
BACHMANN: He did, and that was sad. It has changed the season for us. We were thrilled he was our quarterback. Here's a quarterback in a lot of ways, one, on the field but also behind the scenes. He's a great captain, if you will of the whole team. He's done a good job trying to hold us all together.
VAN SUSTEREN: Come back another year?
BACHMANN: That I don't know but we'll see.
VAN SUSTEREN: Congresswoman Bachmann, thank you very much for joining us.
BACHMANN: Greta, thank you.