White House Comfortable With Senate Health Bill Schedule

Posted July 24, 2009 at 10:14am

The White House on Friday continued to downplay its concerns over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) decision to delay a floor vote on health legislation until after the August recess, saying President Barack Obama is happy as long as progress is being made.Speaking to reporters during a morning briefing, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs noted that no matter what happened before the recess, lawmakers “would still have to come back in September and in many ways go through the House and Senate process all over again.—The president will meet at 11:30 a.m. at the White House with Reid and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to talk about the timing and substance of the legislation. Gibbs said Obama this week has continued to speak with Republicans on the panel, including ranking member Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Sens. Olympia Snowe (Maine) and Mike Enzi (Wyo.).Gibbs downplayed suggestions that Obama is ramping up his August effort on health care because of the delay, saying a robust campaign was always in the works. “Nobody in planning meetings thought that we should just take August off,— Gibbs said.Obama next week will make at least two appearances to tout his health agenda, traveling for events in Raleigh, N.C., and to a city in southwestern Virginia that Gibbs did not name.