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 ObamaWhite House declines to apologize to Boy Scouts Boy Scouts chief apologizes for Trump’s Jamboree address Dem lawmaker: Boy Scouts leader should condemn Trump's 'inappropriate remarks' 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.

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"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 ReidConservative Senate candidate calls on GOP to end filibuster Ex-Reid aide: McConnell's 'original sin' was casting ObamaCare as 'partisan, socialist takeover' GOP faces growing demographic nightmare in West MORE are just as eager to pass reform as the president.