By Jordan Fabian - 11/21/09 02:37 PM EST
Other political hot topics, such as the war in Afghanistan, President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaClinton to call on Black Lives Matter at Dem convention The youth vote—a unicorn worth hunting in 2016 Instead of being bold, Clinton errs in picking Kaine MORE’s trip to Asia and growing congressional opposition to Obama’s economic team, are likely to take a back seat to healthcare reform on this weekend’s talk shows. That’s because Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidSuper-PAC targets Portman on trade Dem leader urges compromise on FCC set-top box plan Senate Dems introduce Iran sanctions extension MORE (D-Nev.) this week scheduled his chamber’s first procedural vote on the bill for Saturday at 8 p.m.
Three of the most highly anticipated guests will be Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Dick DurbinDick DurbinOpioid package clears key Senate hurdle Overnight Healthcare: Feds defend ObamaCare's affordability DNC chief spared in Sanders-Clinton talks: report MORE (D-Ill.).
Before Friday, Nelson would have likely been the most coveted guest on the Sunday circuit. For weeks he had threatened to vote against the motion to proceed due to his objection to the bill’s abortion language. The centrist Democrat believes that the provisions do not do enough to prevent federal dollars from paying for abortions under the health insurance exchange.
But Nelson on Friday said he would vote with his party to allow debate on the bill while stressing that his vote to proceed was not a vote for the bill, with which he still has concerns. Nelson also left the door open to supporting a Republican filibuster on the final cloture vote, making him one to watch when he appears on ABC’s “This Week.”
Like Nelson, Lieberman – who caucuses with the Democrats -- has said he would vote for the motion to proceed Saturday but has threatened to join a GOP filibuster. The centrist senator opposes the public option and has expressed concern with the bill’s cost. Lieberman will join a panel of guests on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Nelson’s announcement left two remaining holdouts on tomorrow’s procedural vote: Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Mary LandrieuMary Landrieu oil is changing the world and Washington Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Republican announces bid for Vitter’s seat MORE (D-La.) Lincoln has not yet indicated when she will make up her mind on the vote but Landrieu on Friday announced she would declare her decision Saturday morning before the vote.
The man responsible for marshaling votes on the Democratic side of the aisle, Assistant Majority Leader Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), will appear on “Meet the Press” along with Lieberman. Expect David Gregory to question Durbin on Lincoln and Landrieu’s votes no matter the outcome.
Another member of the Senate leadership, Democratic Caucus vice chairman Chuck SchumerCharles SchumerThe Trail 2016: Unity at last This week: Congress eyes the exits in dash to recess Former Gillibrand aide wins NY House primary MORE, is set to talk on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinHotel lobby cheers scrutiny on Airbnb GOP platform attempts middle ground on encryption debate Week ahead: Encryption fight poised to heat up MORE (D-Calif.) will join Durbin on “Meet the Press.” Two other Democrats will appear on the Sunday shows. Senate Finance Committee member Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowDems to GOP: Admit Trump is 'unfit' to be president Senate Dems push Obama for more Iran transparency GMO labeling bill good for both environment and the poor MORE and Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) will appear on “Fox News Sunday.” Though Specter switched parties in April, he has emerged as a strong supporter of the legislation.
A number of Republican senators will appear on the Sunday shows to provide their points of view. Senate Republicans almost unanimously oppose the bill though it is still possible centrist Republican senators such as Olympia Snowe (Maine) and Susan CollinsSusan CollinsThe Trail 2016: Words matter Lobbyists bolting Trump convention early GOP sen at convention: I'm not ruling out voting for Clinton MORE (Maine) could be wooed by Democrats to vote for final cloture. It is expected, however, for all Republicans to vote against Saturday’s motion.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellProgressive group changes tone on Kaine Trump hits Kaine on TPP: He supports a 'job killer' Clinton maps out first 100 days MORE (R-Ky.) will lead the Republican response; he will be interviewed on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) will talk alongside Schumer on “Face the Nation.” Senate Republican Conference chairman Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderGOP senators to donors: Stick with us regardless of Trump Overnight Healthcare: Mysterious new Zika case | Mental health bill in doubt | Teletraining to fight opioids Hopes dim for mental health deal MORE (R-Tenn.) will speak on "Fox News Sunday."
Other rank-and-file Republicans are scheduled to speak on the Sunday shows. Sen. Tom CoburnTom CoburnThe Trail 2016: Words matter Ex-Sen. Coburn: I won’t challenge Trump, I’ll vote for him Coburn: I haven't seen 'self-discipline' from Trump MORE (R-Okla.), a physician by training and a leading Republican voice on healthcare, will join Nelson on “This Week.” Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) is set to appear with Durbin, Feinstein and Lieberman on “Meet the Press.” Finally, Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) willl join Alexander, Stabenow and Specter on "Fox News Sunday."
Two members of the House, Chief Deputy Whip Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnFive ways Trump’s convention was a success Trump campaign puts diversity on display in final night of convention The Trail 2016: Trump’s big night MORE (R-Tenn.), will appear on “This Week” to talk healthcare reform alongside Nelson and Coburn.