Freshman Congressmen Say They’ll Reach Across the Aisle

The 112th Congress begins Wednesday with a Republican run House and a Democratic majority in the Senate. But two freshman Congressmen-- David Schwiekert , R-AZ. and Hansen Clark, D-Mich.-- say they're willing to work together.

"As a democrat, I'm not going to reach across the aisle. I'm going to be sitting on that other side of the aisle much of the time this upcoming week so that I can know my Republican colleagues better, and so they can understand what the people of metro Detroit really need. That's how I think we can get things accomplished," Congressman Clarke said during an interview with Fox News on Saturday.

Congressman Schweikert replied, "We'd love to have him there and the fact of the matter is you hear the Democrats and Republicans, we talk about the same problems, you know, the value of our homes, the number of foreclosures, creating jobs, creating economic growth. The great battle is going to be the method we go about fixing them."

Both congressmen agree some of the biggest issues facing the country right now are the economy and unemployment-- something both sides will have to work together to find a solution to.

Schweikert insisted, "If you're trying to create jobs don't go to another government agency and say ‘bail us out'. Let's find ways to grow small business and actually create real jobs... It's not defining the problems, it's coming to an agreement on how do we unleash this economy and start growing it. And for a lot of Democrats it's going to be tough to reach over to our side because it's a philosophical difference."

Clarke countered, "We don't compromise on the values, but keeping an open mind that there are many ways to achieve the same things, like putting people back to work, keeping them in their homes, making sure their tax dollars are spent correctly."

Clarke also says working together may come down to three things, "First, keeping focused on what our people want that hired us. Second, respecting each other, especially those us of who have different ideologies. And then third, giving up being right on our positions and see what we can do to get the ultimate goal accomplished which is to serve the taxpayers as effectively as possible."