AMNA NAWAZ: A looming global financial crisis of Congress' own making is still months away.
But time is already running short on Capitol Hill.
Political correspondent Lisa Desjardins caught up with lawmakers before they left town for the long Easter break and joins me here.
Lisa, it's good to see you.
LISA DESJARDINS: Good to see you.
AMNA NAWAZ: So, bring us up to speed.
What happened this week?
And what does it mean for that debt ceiling debate?
LISA DESJARDINS: We're talking about that debt ceiling debate.
Now, the two principles here that we need to watch are House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
He governs House Republicans there, what they will do.
And, of course, President Biden.
He has to sign any legislation dealing with the debt ceiling.
Those two men, Amna, have not spoken in two months.
They had a lot of time.
Now they have a lot less time.
We did see some action from them today -- this week, though, engagement.
They sent each other letters.
Look at this, first a letter from Speaker McCarthy to President Biden outlining potential ideas, essentially saying he would like spending cuts and maybe some tax cuts as well.
Then, President Biden same day wrote a letter back to Speaker McCarthy.
Now, the content of these letters was also spelled out today by both of these men in separate news conferences.
First, I want to play what Speaker McCarthy told us in his news conference today.
He said he wants to sit down with President Biden as soon as possible.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): So what we need to do is sit down, like any household would happen, and find places that we can eliminate waste, the fraud, but, more importantly, create a system that makes the energy in America stronger, lower price, but make our economy even better.
The conference is very close.
And if the president doesn't act, we will.
LISA DESJARDINS: All right.
That was an important moment.
The conference, he means the Republican Conference.
He's saying essentially that the House Republican Congress plans to pass something.
We will see what.
What did the White House say today?
Here's White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre.
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, White House Press Secretary: What we really need from Speaker McCarthy and House Republicans is to see their budget.
Where's the budget?
LISA DESJARDINS: They have not passed a budget in the House.
This is essentially saying, we won't meet with you until you have a plan.
Speaker McCarthy saying, no, we want to meet with you first.
It's a classic.
They're starting to engage, though.
That's why we're talking about this now.
There's not progress yet, but this seems to be a realization that they have got to figure something out in coming weeks.
AMNA NAWAZ: Dueling letters and dueling press conferences right now.
But you do have some new reporting on what could be a short term off-ramp.
What do we know?
LISA DESJARDINS: Talking to sources on Capitol Hill, especially those conservative Republicans who are driving the train in the House, like Freedom Caucus members, it seems to me clear that they are now getting ready to accept a short-term deal to extend the debt ceiling maybe for a couple of months, they are hoping in exchange for some easy-, they think,-to-get compromises.
Like, for instance, there's some unspent COVID relief money that they think perhaps President Biden would allow to go back into the federal Treasury.
Now, there is a problem, though, for Kevin McCarthy and those Republicans.
They don't really necessarily have 218 votes, a majority, for any idea yet.
There is also, I have to say, a problem for President Biden.
Some of his Democrats also have issues with him.
We saw this op-ed from Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia come out today, in which he said the Biden administration is determined to pursue an ideological agenda, rather than confront debts and deficits.
Senator Manchin wants a part in negotiations going ahead.
So you see pressure on both sides.
Let's talk about the timing.
We think the debt ceiling, right now, we will hit it, run out of money to spend, essentially, for the government, some time between June and September, a very wide set of months.
Why don't we know?
Because this is tax month.
We should know April 18 how much revenue the government has brought in.
That will tell us more about our timeline.
AMNA NAWAZ: A lot of important information coming very soon.
Lisa, while I have you here, I do want to ask you about another issue lawmakers are being asked a lot about in the wake of another mass shooting in America.
That is, of course, gun violence and where it stands.
You recorded what I think it's fair to call a very unusual confrontation yesterday.
Tell us about that.
LISA DESJARDINS: That's right.
Standing outside of the House chamber is a place where there are very hard rules and decorum is firm and important.
But, yesterday, I witnessed coming out of the gun debate a Democratic member starting to shout his frustration about what he sees as a lack of action this issue.
I want to play what happened next.
Jamaal Bowman is a representative from New York.
He's the African American you're going to see in this clip, and he was -- he was raising this issue.
And then Republican Tom Massie came over to also engage with him.
Here's what happened.
REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN (D-NY): I'm talking about gun violence.
I'm talking about gun violence.
REP. THOMAS MASSIE (R-KY): You know there's never been a school shooting in a school that allows teachers to carry?
REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN: Carry guns?
You think -- more guns leads to more death!
More guns lead to more death!
LISA DESJARDINS: This is very personal for both these men.
Representative Bowman is a former crisis intervention teacher and school principal in New York.
He was talking about kids that he sees dying, and he sees a lack of intervention on guns from lawmakers.
Representative Massie was saying, no, I don't think it is -- that is not the problem.
We need to arm teachers.
More guns is the answer.
The other one saying, no, fewer guns is the answer.
While it was shouting, it was clear that there was actually substance to what they were saying.
Now, this comes not in isolation, Amna.
Today, we saw in Nashville in the state capitol in Tennessee protests.
Look at this, hundreds of people coming out sparked by the death of those six people, including those three 9-year-olds.
This was the first time that state legislature had met since the shooting.
So you see there is something happening right now in this moment, a real outcry for legislation.
I asked Speaker McCarthy today, what specifically do you think should be done on this?
He said there should be a national conversation.
He didn't give me specifics.
Let's talk about that conversation right now.
What we know is that, according to The Washington Post, there have been 17 school shootings this year.
And we also know that gun violence is the leading cause of death among American children.
AMNA NAWAZ: Hard-and-true facts from Lisa Desjardins.
Lisa, thank you.