Face the Nation this Week: Debt, Pakistan & Libya

From left: Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and the Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich. CBS

This Sunday's guests on "Face the Nation" are Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Democratic Senate Conference Chair Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and the Chairman of the House Select Intelligence Committee, Representative Mike Rogers, R-Mich.

The closed door meetings with Vice President Biden and congressional leaders on the debt limit have resumed this past week with a new intensity as the group promises to meet multiple times a week until it reaches a deal. But there's a big IF - Washington is watching to see if the only serious discussion going on to try to forge a deal to raise the debt ceiling and cut government spending can get the deal done.

With the debt deadline of August 2 fast approaching, there's no certainty all sides can get what they want. Republicans are pushing for spending cuts in the trillions and Democrats, already worried about the fragile economy, don't want too many cuts too soon that could add government workers to the unemployment rate. But the debt crisis in Greece is giving many pause, saying it's more evidence that profligate spending could ruin the U.S. economy.

Republicans are also standing behind their plan to change Medicare to save long-term costs, but the plan's author, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., said this week he was open to making some of the changes optional. The debt, Medicare, spending and the economy will be among the issues discussed as Senate Leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer sit down with Bob Schieffer.

But as those debt talks continue, many in Washington are looking at an accelerated end to the nearly 10 year-old war in Afghanistan as a way to save the government money. With the recent killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, as well as some improvements in the security situation on the ground officials on both sides of the aisle say the time is right to draw down the U.S. role there.

"Given our successes, it is the right moment to initiate a sizable and sustained reduction in forces, with the goal of steadily redeploying all regular combat troops," wrote 27 senators in a letter to President Obama.

"We should maintain our capacity to eliminate any new terrorist threats, continue to train the Afghan National Security Forces, and maintain our diplomatic and humanitarian efforts. However, these objectives do not require the presence of over 100,000 American troops engaged in intensive combat operations," wrote the group that included Schumer.

As the White House reassesses the U.S. role in Afghanistan, the U.S. relationship with Pakistan shows more signs of deterioration. New reports this week showed that on one hand, Pakistani officials may have tipped off known terrorists about a raid and on the other, Pakistan arrested its own officials who helped the U.S. identify and carry out the raid on the bin Laden compound.

What to do about Pakistan, as well as the growing threat from the instability in Yemen will be among the topics discussed House intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers sits down with Bob Schieffer.

At the same time the White House is figuring out the road ahead in Afghanistan, Congress is putting pressure on the Obama Administration to end the U.S. role in Libya. Months after President Obama said the U.S. role there would be measured in weeks, Congress has ratcheted up the pressure on the White House, going as far as accusing the administration of violating the law by having a prolonged U.S. military engagement there without congressional approval. Meanwhile, Muammar Qaddafi is still in power and is showing no signs of leaving. Entering its fourth month, the US is still involved as the battle over Libya rages.

But the violent crackdown on protestors in Syria continues and the U.S. government is trying to figure out what pressure it can put on the Syrian regime to stop killing its own people. Can the U.S. get involved in another conflict as its trying to wind down military operations around the world?

All this is playing out as Washington is still trying to figure out if the White House and congressional Republicans can reach a deal to cut enough government spending to offset a raise in the debt ceiling.

The politics of debt and the road ahead in Afghanistan, Pakistan and what to do in Libya and Syria will be among the issues Sunday as Senator McConnell and Schumer and Representative Rogers Face the Nation.

  • Robert Hendin On Twitter»

    Robert Hendin is senior producer for "Face the Nation" and a CBS News senior political producer.

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