Gibbs: Obama willing to give a couple of days on deadline

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Thursday backed off next week's deadline for healthcare reform to pass the House, saying President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaPoll: ObamaCare support hits new high How the candidates for DNC chair stack up ahead of Saturday's vote Ginsburg: Trump Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is 'very easy to get along with' MORE would be pleased if it passes a day or two after that.

Gibbs and Democratic leaders have been at odds this week over the date for passage, which coincides with the president's departure to Indonesia and Australia.

"If it takes a couple of days extra... we'll be happy to have it pass then," Gibbs said. "Even if [Obama's] already gone."

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and other Democrats have pushed back on the March 18 deadline Gibbs put forward last week.

Even as he acknowledged a "disconnect" between the White House and Congress earlier this week, Gibbs insisted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThe Hill's 12:30 Report Hopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs If Gorsuch pick leads to 'crisis,' Dems should look in mirror first MORE are just as eager to pass reform as the president.