Health debate to take over Sunday shows

The White House and key congressional lawmakers will further carve their niches in the healthcare debate on this weekend’s Sunday talk shows.

One of the guests adding to the debate will be Rep. Joe WilsonAddison (Joe) Graves WilsonThe Hill Interview: Sanford says Trump GOP doing 'serious brand destruction' GOP lawmaker: 'Dangerous' abuse of Interpol by Russia, China, Venezuela Washington Post fact-checker gives Plame three Pinocchios for Libby claim MORE (R-S.C.), whose outburst at President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaEach of us has a role in preventing veteran suicide Why calls for impeachment have become commonplace Meet Trump's most trusted pollsters MORE during his congressional address this week captured headlines.

The discussion has reached a fever pitch in the days following Obama’s address; Republicans have since labeled the president’s approach to healthcare as partisan and divisive, while Democrats are struggling to find a common footing on their linchpin issue – the public option.


Standing in for the administration on Sunday will be White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, who will take questions about the president’s speech on CNN’s “State of the Nation.” Also representing the Obama administration will be Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusJerry Moran: 'I wouldn't be surprised' if Pompeo ran for Senate in Kansas Mark Halperin inks book deal 2020 Democrats fight to claim Obama's mantle on health care MORE, who will appear on “This Week,” and David Axelrod, who will visit “Face the Nation.”

A number of Republicans are also slated to appear this weekend – all vocal critics of the Democrats’ plans for health reform. Sens. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals Trump to award Medal of Freedom to former Attorney General Edwin Meese Trump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom MORE (R-Utah) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamFurious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria Democrats to offer resolution demanding Trump reverse Syria decision Army officer calls Syria pullback 'a stain on the American conscience' MORE (R-S.C.) will make their party’s case against the public option on “Fox News Sunday.” Following them will be Rep. Joe Wilson, made famous this week for shouting "You Lie!" during the president's Wednesday address. Meanwhile, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) fights back Democratic lawmakers during a roundtable on ABC. Pawlenty, specifically, will talk about his work in Minnesota reforming healthcare and establishing low-cost coverage.

House Republican Whip Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorMeet Trump's most trusted pollsters Embattled Juul seeks allies in Washington GOP faces tough battle to become 'party of health care' MORE (Va.) will follow Gibbs on CNN. And Sen. John CornynJohn CornynOvernight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Judge blocks Trump 'public charge' rule | Appeals court skeptical of Trump arguments for Medicaid work requirements | CDC offers guidance for treating vaping-related cases GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe Bottom Line MORE (R-Texas) will join former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) on “Meet the Press” to discuss whether bipartisan health care reform is even possible at this point.

The Democrats, too, will be on the offensive. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) will further make the case for his healthcare co-op plan on “Fox News Sunday.” His proposal has received considerable attention on the Hill this week, after Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidReid warns Democrats not to underestimate Trump Harry Reid predicts Trump, unlike Clinton, won't become more popular because of impeachment Al Franken to host SiriusXM radio show MORE (D-Nev.) said it could be an effective alternative to the public option. 

Conrad will appear alongside Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillIranian attacks expose vulnerability of campaign email accounts Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Ocasio-Cortez blasts NYT editor for suggesting Tlaib, Omar aren't representative of Midwest MORE (D-Mo.), a moderate Senate voice who recently met with the president to discuss healthcare reform.

The party’s internal struggle over the public will be on full display on ABC, which will host Sens. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuCongress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ Lobbying world MORE (D-La.), who mostly opposes a government plan, and Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerBottom Line World Health Day: It's time to fight preventable disease Lobbying World MORE (D-W.V.), who largely favors it. At the same time, Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenators take fundraising efforts to Nats playoff games Overnight Health Care: Watchdog finds DEA allowed more opioids even as overdose deaths rose | Judge temporarily blocks Georgia abortion law | Three states report more vaping deaths | Dem proposes new fix for surprise medical bills During impeachment storm, senators cross aisle to lessen mass incarceration MORE (D-Ill) and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean will likely defend the proposal on “Meet the Press.”

But all eyes will be on a handful of lawmakers who have yet to define their positions in the healthcare debate. Among them: Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsFurious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria McConnell tightlipped as impeachment furor grows Congress set for showdown with Trump over Kurds MORE (R-Maine) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenOvernight Energy: Advisory panel pushes park service to privatize campgrounds | Dems urge Perry to keep lightbulb efficiency rules | Marshall Islands declares national climate crisis Democrats urge Rick Perry not to roll back lightbulb efficiency rules Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Planned Parenthood charges into 2020 | PhRMA CEO warns against Pelosi drug pricing bill | Medicaid work requirements costing states millions MORE (D-N.H.), who will present their ideas on CNN.

While they discuss reforms, the Senate’s most prominent swing voter -- Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) – will appear on CBS. Snowe has worked quite closely with Democrats recently, even negotiating directly with the White House before Obama’s speech. She, too, will likely define her position in the healthcare debate on Sunday.