A top Democrat distanced the House from a March 18 deadline to pass healthcare overhaul legislation, saying the plan is to move swiftly but not to commit to a specific date.
Last week, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama wants to see health reform legislation pass before he leaves for a trip to Indonesia and Australia. But asked by a reporter if the deadline was viable, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) instead bought his colleagues some more time. “You mean that date that Mr. Gibbs mentioned?” Hoyer asked. “None of us have mentioned the 18th other than Mr. Gibbs. We are trying to do this as soon as possible. That continues to be our objective.”