February 25th, 2010
01:25 PM ET

Democrats' New Health Target: End of March

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Ed Henry
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

As President Obama kicks off a health care summit to try and rescue his reform package, three top Democratic sources are privately telling CNN the new goal is to pass the final legislation by the end of March or else Congress will have to move back to other issues like job creation and unfinished spending bills.

The new deadline adds more pressure to the White House negotiations because it gives the President only one month after Thursday's summit to get a final package completed or else he will risk seeing his signature domestic issue go down in flames.

Three Democratic sources familiar with the negotiations say that after a series of missed deadlines last year, the new target is to get a final package completed by Friday March 26, when the House and Senate are scheduled to begin a recess to celebrate Passover and Easter. The House is not scheduled to return from that recess for floor votes again until Tuesday April 13, just seven months before the midterm elections.

The Democratic sources said that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) have private signaled to the White House that after that recess they will have to move the focus back to jobs and a whole series of other important issues - such as climate change legislation, a financial reform package, and unfinished appropriations bills.

So Democratic leaders have warned the White House that if the health legislation is not finished before the spring recess, it is hard to craft a scenario in which Congress can return to the bill later in the year.

"They would have to move on - they can't let this drag out," said one Democratic source familiar with the negotiations who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the sensitive deliberations.

Filed under: Democrats • Health Care • President Barack Obama
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Tyrone

    The Republican Party is very much down right against the American people. They are for Americans fighting unnecessary wars . Like in Iraq and losing American life for NOTHING! The Republican party is for tax break for the very rich. The rich is for themselves and getting richer and not hiring the American people. The rich's company profit go in their pocket and not into to better products not into healthcare for the American the employ! The Republican Party is for the high pricing the healthcare company stick to the American people. The republican party has no plan to bring down the price of healthcare. But has all the criticism toward President Obama for trying to do the job for the American people!The Republican Party helped in 1985, the Forbes 400 to be worth $221 billion combined. Today, they’re worth $1.13 trillion—more than the GDP of Canada. There've been few new additions to the Forbes 400. The median household income has also stagnated—at around $44,000. Among the Forbes 400 who gave to the 2004 presidential campaign, 72% gave to Bush 's republican party.
    In 2005, there were 9 million American millionaires, a 62% increase since 2002.
    In 2005, 25.7 million Americans received food stamps, a 49% increase since 2000 (THE RICH GET RICHER). Only estates worth more than $1.5 million are taxed. That’s less than 1% of all estates. Still, repealing the estate tax will cost the government at least $55 billion a year. Only 3% of students at the top 146 colleges come from families in the bottom income quartile; only 10% come from the bottom half. Bush's tax cuts give a 2-child family earning $1 million an extra $86,722—or Harvard tuition, room, board, and an iMac G5 for both kids.
    A 2-child family earning $50,000 gets $2,050—or 1/5 the cost of public college for one kid. Donald Trump will earn $1.5 million an hour to speak at Learning Annex seminars! This is possible because of capitalism and the republican party! The Republican party is for the rich getting richer and the poor and middle class paying for it!

    February 25, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  2. Tim Gibson

    In otherwords, by March 25th we will have health care reform under the banner of, well they did it too.

    February 25, 2010 at 11:04 am |