Whitefish stops work on Puerto Rico power grid over payment dispute
Gibbs: Healthcare bill by 'deem and pass' will meet 'constitutional muster'
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama has no constitutional concerns about signing a bill passed by controversial House rules that are being proposed by Democrats to pass healthcare.
Obama, a former constitutional law professor, would sign a bill if it is passed by the controversial "Slaughter Solution," Gibbs said.
The proposal would deem the Senate version of the bill passed after House approval without an actual vote in the House. House Republicans have cried foul, and many have questioned whether that process would be constitutional.
But Obama has downplayed any controversy surrounding the procedure, telling Fox News Channel on Wednesday that the American people are more concerned with healthcare reform than the process.
Gibbs answered all critics in what is believed to be the first Rose Garden briefing by a White House press secretary, saying Obama "would sign that bill, yes."
Gibbs said the president and his White House team believe "what we're about to pass and sign into law will meet constitutional muster."
Gibbs's remarks came after the shocking announcement that Obama is postponing his trip to Indonesia and Australia until June so that he can stay in Washington and ensure the process progresses.
The president is continuing to call and meet with lawmakers to try to corral the necessary votes to pass the bill as whip counts indicate the outcome could come down to the wire.
Gibbs denied reports that Obama has promised lawmakers campaign appearances or fundraising assistance in exchange for their votes, and he said there will be no retribution toward Democrats who vote against the president's plan.