By Jeffrey Young - 03/10/10 01:14 AM EST
Democrats directly told White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel they
don't appreciate being told when to finish their work on healthcare
reform, according to a powerful committee chairman.
was certainly informed that we don't feel we want any deadlines
assigned to us," House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry
Waxman (D-Calif.) said after a healthcare strategy meeting between
House and Senate Democratic leaders and Emanuel.
leaders, struggling with a difficult political climate, having trouble
whipping up a majority in the House and facing considerable procedural
hurdles, have been rankled by statements from White House officials
such as press secretary Robert Gibbs that President Barack Obama at
least wants the House to complete its share of the work by March 18,
when the president is scheduled to travel to Guam, Indonesia and
During the Tuesday afternoon
meeting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) office, lawmakers
made sure to raise their concerns with the president's top aide. "He
said he'd pass it on," Waxman said.
Earlier Tuesday House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) pushed back
on the proposed deadline, telling reporters, “None of us has mentioned the 18th other than Mr. Gibbs.” Gibbs lated acknowledged
there is a "disconnect" between the White House and Capitol Hill about the deadline.