Grassley, Conrad among Sunday healthcare chatter

Healthcare reform will once again dominate the Sunday shows this week, as lawmakers square off on the reform proposals that face Congress when it returns from recess.

Two of the Senate's most influential members on healthcare reform will square off on "Face the Nation": Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyFeinstein: Trump Jr. will be subpoenaed if he refuses to testify The next battle in the fight against human trafficking The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), a member of the Finance Committee and the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

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Conrad has led the effort for a insurance "co-op" plan as a substitute for a public option. Grassley, whose committee shares jurisdiction over healthcare, made headlines recently for suggesting that the Democrats plan might let the government "pull the plug on grandma."

The two senators will be joined by former DNC chairman and 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean, a doctor himself and a strong proponent of a public plan.

Sens. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchSenate panel advances Trump's tax policy nominee Healthcare debacle raises pressure for GOP on taxes GOP frets over stalled agenda MORE (R-Utah) and Chuck SchumerCharles SchumerLawmakers send McCain well wishes after cancer diagnosis OPINION | GOP's 7-year ObamaCare blood oath ends in failure Dems tout failure of GOP healthcare bill MORE (D-N.Y.), will face off on "Meet the Press". Schumer has played a key role in formulating a public option compromise palatable to Republicans and centrist Democrats. Hatch, like most Republicans, opposes any kind of public plan, though signaled his willingness this week to go "back to the bargaining table."

Chris Wallace will talk to Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanRyan: CBO's healthcare estimate is 'bogus' Kushner speech to congressional interns delayed Overnight Energy: Exxon sues feds over M sanctions fine MORE (R-Wis.) on "Fox News Sunday." Ryan, ranking member of the House Budget Committee, is one of the GOP's leading policy wonks. Specter initially opposed a public option, but now says he supports a government-backed plan.

CNN's "State of the Union" will analyze both the violence and recent elections in Afghanistan with Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Lt. Gen Karl Eikenberry (Ret.), U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan.

CNN's coverage of Afghanistan will continue with Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), and Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinOil concerns hold up Russia sanctions push Compounds’ fate raised after Trump-Putin talk Administration briefs Senate on progress against ISIS MORE (D-Md.). The Senate trio will also sound off on healthcare reform's prospects in the upper chamber.

George Stephanopoulos will travel to Arizona to speak with Sen. John McCainJohn McCainOvernight Defense: Trump gets briefing at Pentagon on ISIS, Afghanistan | Senate panel approves five defense picks | Senators want Syria study in defense bill Schwarzenegger tweets to McCain: 'You'll be back' Trump called McCain to wish him well after cancer diagnosis MORE (R-Ariz.), live from the Grand Canyon, on "This Week." Besides the normal healthcare questions, McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, will likely offer his thoughts on the progress in Afghanistan and Iraq.