Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for fight on debt ceiling

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the total for the nation’s debt.

With the U.S. reaching its borrowing limit this week, the looming fight over the debt ceiling is likely to dominate discussions on this Sunday’s morning talk shows.

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The nation’s debt surpassed $31.4 trillion on Thursday, breaching the limit that Congress had previously put in place and leading the Treasury Department to begin employing “extraordinary measures” to prevent the U.S. government from defaulting on its debt.

The measures, which Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen estimated would last through early June, provide Congress with additional time to address the debt ceiling. If lawmakers fail to raise the debt limit and the U.S. defaults, it could trigger a global economic crisis.

The White House and most Democratic lawmakers have so far refused to negotiate with Republicans, following a brutal fight between the Obama administration and House Republicans in 2011. They are instead calling for a clean increase of the debt ceiling. 

“Like the President has said many times, raising the debt ceiling is not a negotiation; it is an obligation of this country and its leaders to avoid economic chaos,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement on Friday.

However, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is facing heavy pressure from House Republicans to tie spending cuts to the debt ceiling issue, teeing up a potential showdown with the Biden administration.

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Amid concerns about the potentially disastrous outcome of such brinksmanship, a handful of lawmakers on each side of the aisle have indicated a willingness to negotiate. 

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who is set to join both NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CNN’s “State of the Union” this weekend, said on Wednesday that he is willing to scrutinize social safety net programs as part of a bipartisan deal on the debt ceiling and briefly spoke with McCarthy on the issue.

NBC’s “Meet the Press” will also be joined by Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), who has called on Biden to negotiate while also acknowledging Republicans’ role in the current debt limit issue.

“For decades now, Republicans are just as much responsible for our debt as are Democrats,” she told Washington Post Live on Thursday, adding, “Both sides need to address it. We cannot continue to kick the issue down the road.”

Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), co-chairs of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, are reportedly already discussing potential options for raising the debt ceiling, per NBC News. Both Fitzpatrick and Gottheimer are set to join “Fox News Sunday” this weekend.

“We’re working together because we have to find a bipartisan way forward,” Gottheimer told CNN. “There’s simply too much at stake.”

Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) will also discuss the debt limit fight with CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

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Below is the full list of guests scheduled to appear on this week’s Sunday talk shows:

ABC’s “This Week” — Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas); Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.); Mayors Eric Adams (D) of New York, Karen Bass (D) of Los Angeles and Sylvester Turner (D) of Houston

NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.); Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.)

CBS’s “Face the Nation” — Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio); Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.); Mayors Francis Suarez (R) of Miami, LaToya Cantrell (D) of New Orleans, John Giles (R) of Mesa, Ariz., and Andre Dickens (D) of Atlanta

CNN’s “State of the Union” — McCaul, Manchin; Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

“Fox News Sunday” — Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.); Penny Young Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America; Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center

Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” — House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.); Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.); Manchin; Trump Media CEO and former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.); former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.)

–Updated on Jan. 24 at 11:29 a.m.

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