White House press secretary Robert Gibbs is ratcheting up the pressure on Congress to complete health-care legislation, setting March 18 as the deadline by which a final bill should be passed.The House responded by saying "End of the month. Maybe"
Noting that President Obama leaves that day on a trip to Indonesia, Guam and Australia, Gibbs said on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" with Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie that "we believe that we're on schedule, based on our conversations with the speaker and the majority leader, to get something done by then."
The White House deadline means Congress would have exactly two weeks to pass a version of the existing Senate-approved bill in the House of Representatives and then pass a second bill filled with "fixes" in both chambers.
Gibbs modified his statement hours later, in his daily briefing for reporters, saying that the bill was "on schedule to get this through the House by then." He did not address the bill's fate in the Senate.
The Senate responded by saying nothing.
Three weeks until the Easter recess, then two weeks off. What's another five weeks among friends?