WH: Obama focused on healthcare progress

The White House refused Thursday to say whether President Barack ObamaBarack Obama21 state AGs denounce DeVos for ending student loan reform Obama to net 0K for Wall Street speech: report Trump’s wall jams GOP in shutdown talks MORE would sign a healthcare bill that doesn't include the public option plan the president supports.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs declined to say whether Obama would veto or sign a bill that doesn't include a government-run public option plan, which the Senate Finance Committee is reportedly close to passing. Members of the committee are set to meet with Obama later Thursday morning.

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Gibbs said the president "is focused on making sure the process goes forward at this point."

"I'm not going to start drawing those lines in the sand today," Gibbs said.

Gibbs said that Obama's White House meeting with committee members Sens. Max BaucusMax BaucusChanging of the guard at DC’s top lobby firm GOP hasn’t reached out to centrist Dem senators Five reasons why Tillerson is likely to get through MORE (D-Mont.), Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyTrump eyeing second Supreme Court seat Grassley: Another Supreme Court vacancy likely this summer Sweeping change at DOJ under Sessions MORE (R-Iowa), Mike EnziMike EnziTrump should work with Congress to block regulations on prepaid cards GOP wrestles with big question: What now? Top Dem: Trump's State Dept. cuts a 'Ponzi scheme' MORE (R-Wyo.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) is "not a negotiation," but instead a chance for the president to get an update on the legislation.

When asked what message Obama will have for the committee, Gibbs said: "Keep working."

Gibbs said even though Obama wants to see progress from the committee, he is not pressing its members to pass a bill by any certain date, even though his onetime desire for a bill before the August recess lies in waste.

On Thursday, Gibbs said the president "doesn't have any firm deadlines in his head."

"We want them to work; we want them to make progress," Gibbs told reporters.