Sunday shows preview: McConnell, Schumer face off ahead of Gorsuch fight

Sunday shows preview: McConnell, Schumer face off ahead of Gorsuch fight
© Greg Nash

Senate leaders are slated to hit the Sunday show circuit this week ahead of a likely showdown over President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate nearing deal on defense bill after setback On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Schumer eyeing Build Back Better vote as soon as week of Dec. 13 MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - The omicron threat and Biden's plan to beat it Lawmakers take aim at 'Grinches' using bots to target consumers during holidays Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills MORE (D-N.Y.) are both scheduled to appear on NBC’s “Meet the Press” this Sunday.

Their appearances come after two Democrats – Sens. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampVirginia loss lays bare Democrats' struggle with rural voters Washington's oldest contact sport: Lobbyists scrum to dilute or kill Democrats' tax bill Progressives prepare to launch counterattack in tax fight MORE (N.D.) and Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Manchin seeks 'adjustments' to spending plan Pence-linked group launches 0K ad campaign in West Virginia praising Manchin Democrats push tax credits to bolster clean energy MORE (W.Va.) – announced this week that they will back Gorsuch for the vacant seat on the nation’s highest court.

But Gorsuch's road to confirmation without changing the Senate rules grew increasingly difficult Friday when Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillLobbying world Ex-Rep. Akin dies at 74 Republicans may regret restricting reproductive rights MORE (D-Mo.) announced she would vote to filibuster Trump's nominee. 

That leaves the number of Democrats who have undecided or unclear positions on Gorsuch at nine, according to The Hill's Whip List. Republicans need eight to overcome a filibuster.

Schumer told The Washington Post on Thursday that it was "virtually impossible" for Democrats and Republicans to reach an agreement on Gorsuch to avoid a showdown.

Under current rules, Republicans need 60 votes to confirm Gorsuch. Republicans hold 52 seats in the upper chamber, and Heitkamp and Manchin are the only two to have broken with their party to support him.

Republicans, gearing up for a potential vote next week, are weighing the so-called nuclear option, which would change the Senate rules so that only a simple majority would be required to confirm Gorsuch.

Vice President Pence vowed Saturday that Gorsuch would be confirmed “one way or another.”

Here is the full lineup:

NBC’s “Meet the Press”: McConnell and Schumer will be on with Chuck Todd as the party leaders prepare for the Gorsuch vote.

ABC’s “This Week”: United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley will be on the show this week, as will Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP senators appalled by 'ridiculous' House infighting MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, Chris Christie battle over Fox News Trump's attacks on McConnell seen as prelude to 2024 White House bid MORE (R-Ariz.). Dmitry Peskov, who serves as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, will also appear on the show.

CBS’s “Face the Nation”: Haley will also appear on CBS, as will Sen. John CornynJohn CornynCongress's goal in December: Avoid shutdown and default Mental health: The power of connecting requires the power of investing Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall MORE (R-Texas).

“Fox News Sunday”: McConnell will be on with Chris Wallace this week. Scott Pruitt, who heads the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will also appear on the show. 

CNN’s “State of the Union”: Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffJan. 6 panel releases contempt report on Trump DOJ official ahead of censure vote The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to update Americans on omicron; Congress back Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to omicron variant MORE (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, will be on CNN’s show this week. His appearance follows a week of political infighting between Republicans and Democrats on the committee over the conduct of its chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).

Democrats have called on Nunes to recuse himself from the Russia probe after the chairman admitted he visited White House grounds to review classified materials one day prior to briefing President Trump about incidental surveillance of Trump transition team members.

Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jason Miller (R-Minn.) will also be on the show.