By Sam Youngman - 07/23/09 03:12 PM EDT
President Obama said Thursday that he is "comfortable" with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) assertion that the chamber will not produce a healthcare bill before the August recess.
The president said if a bill comes out of the Senate Finance Committee by recess and he is convinced that lawmakers are working toward a bill, then he will not pressure them to stay and work through the recess.
Obama said "if people are legitimately working out tough problems," then missing his August deadline is not a problem.
"But I don't want a delay just because of politics," Obama said.
The president explained to the crowd that his original goal was to get a bill out of the House and Senate by the August recess and then the legislative process would continue after lawmakers returned.
"Our target date is to get this done by the fall. That's the bottom line," Obama said.
After finishing the question-and-answer session, the president urged audience members to "stay on your members of Congress."
"Keep up the heat," Obama said. "We've gotta get this done."
This story was updated at 3:40 p.m.