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 Obama 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 Reid are just as eager to pass reform as the president.