February 25th, 2010
12:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Democrats' new health target: End of March

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/25/art.obama1.gi.jpg caption="Democrats hope to pass final health care legislation by the end of March, three top Democratic sources tell CNN."]
Washington (CNN) - 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-California, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, have privately 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 Obama
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    The looks coming from John McSongbird's face are priceless.

    What a sore loser.

    Kick him out, arizona – he is NOT useful, he's "goosestep" party first.

    February 25, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  2. Lynne

    Yes. President Obama did it very nicely. He finally told McCain the election was over. That is something the entire republican party, birthers, and tea partiers need to know and realize. President Obama was elected by the people according to the Constitution. It is what separates us from fly by night countries who overthrow governments and cause instability and security issues. Well done President Obama.

    February 25, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. fernandez, Chicago

    I would like to see all members of congress under the same insurance plan that they are proposing for the rest of the Americans

    February 25, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. Shelly

    Pass Health Care Reform! America CANNOT be the greatest country in the world when 45,000 of our children , women and men die each year because of NO insurance; when people are denied insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition; when our insurance premiums continue to rise ridiculously as insurance co. pocket large profits.
    The Republicans DO NOT understand any of this.....they continue to be the Party of NO....NO to Americans. Go Suffer!

    February 25, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  5. Glenn Koons

    Today, Obama has acted as if he and he alone is in charge and yet even ole John McCain jousted with him. Kyl put the bill down. Camp put the bill down. Lamar put the bill down and put out the GOP version. So far, amazingly, the GOP actually looks very strong in their views and shows that this Senate ReidObNan bill is still horrid and hopefully now on TV, the public, whoever is not bored will see this . BTW, in the economy one half million new people unemployed. Ah...Obama, how is that hopey and changey thing working for you with no job creation. This entire crew in the WH is just a huge failure.

    February 25, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. Fair is Fair

    Now THAT's funny!!!!

    Okay Obamatards... in case you weren't listening, by saying this, your loser party just told you that they'e not going to even ATTEMPT reconciliation. Why? Because such a procedural move would take far, far more than a month to accomplish.

    Your "team" just threw you all under the bus. How's that diesel exhaust smell? Don't get run over by any tires, ya hear?

    February 25, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  7. Bob in Pa

    These 3 jokers still don't get it. After all the scandal and admissions of bad or manipulated data, including that supplied by NASA where they omitted temperature readings from select stations, they still want to proceed with this Climate Change legislation. They chase after a theory that has been more disproven than proven. All in the name of "fairness" and control over our lives. The Bolsheviks have to go.

    February 25, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. REG in AZ

    Who ever gave Fred Thompson a microphone? The wind blowing over an empty bucket. If the likes of Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson, Rudi Guiliani (sp?), Jon Kyl, John McCain, and several more 'puppets', supported by the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck,, is what they offer, then we should get the clear message that they just don't care. In so many ways they continually and consistently demonstrate that all they care about is their political ambitions and the strong overt and covert support of Special Interests and a select few. The current Republican Party has abandoned the American people and now the people really need to abandon them.

    February 25, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. File under "Sarcasm"

    Here we go again! Let's spend another 6 weeks on health care while the economy and job creation languishes. What doesn't Obama understand about "It's the economy, stupid!"

    And you liberals out there, please don't stop drinking your koolaid to tell me that this will magically solve our economic problems.

    February 25, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    It is unconstitutional for Republicans like Colburn to acknowledge they know there is fraud and waste in healthcare which occurs year after year. To not know is one thing but to admit knowing about it, do nothing about it and continue to obstruct allowing insurance companies to continue theft at the expense of the American people is UNCONSTITUTONAL. DEMOCRATS HAVE A CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO MOVE ON WITHOUT REPUBLICANS.

    February 25, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. Preston kk

    Pkm mr obama do what you have to do to pass health care the gop has there health care they do not give a dam about any one else

    February 25, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. Mark L.

    Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid – GO FOR IT !! I say RECONCILIATION – ALL THE WAY !! Otherwise, there IS NO HealthCare Reform Legislation !! The Republican base is partisan all the way !! It seems quite apparent the GOP does not wish to work with the foundation that has been laid out thus far in the House & Senate preapproved draft legislation. Personally, I, myself, would like to see a public option, however, if that cannot happen, then let's at least get what the Senate has drafted up in their pieces of legislation !! Bottom Line – If the Democrats want to win support, they need to move FULL FORCE with their preapproved legislation even if that means enforcement of the RECONCILIATION Process !! Otherwise, it'll be 'Another one bites the dust' for Congress and for We the People !!

    February 25, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    No Bill, No Recess (another 7 weeks off? – they just had a month off - or longer).

    Vote out the incumbents.

    February 25, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. Chuck in CSG

    Address the jobless issue now! Let this Craptaculous Bill be addressed, fairly, later.

    February 25, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. csanchez

    Do Not Start Over – what are these jerks thinking? The GOP is clearly prejudice. Anything Obama will say–they will contradict and WE SHALL CALL THIS ADMINISTRATION -"THE GOP FAILURE." This is very sad. No wonder my MOM was always totally against Republicans–now I see why.

    February 25, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    "end of March"

    that adjusts the previous goals:
    "immediately – as in a miacle" no?
    "end of Jan" no?
    "end of Feb" no?

    And watch – if this EVER passes the spin will be "that is exactly according to plan, and it is compromised just like we um, wanted, yeah"

    February 25, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. jules sand-perkins

    It's a good thing that Democratic party leaders summoned the temerity to advise President Obama to move on. He could easily spend his full term in office trying to add this elusive Braganza diamond to his legacy.
    He became an historical figure just by being elected. He doesn't have to be any John Kennedy.

    February 25, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. stormerF

    If they scrap the bill to day they may be able to have a newly written one by the end of March,as long as they leave out all the crapola,and go for the gold. Like competition across state lines,Tort refom,No pre-existing condition limits.No caps on catastophic illness.No special interest favors,for any state,any Union,or any drug company.

    February 25, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. JT the college freshman from MO

    Healthcare reform has to be done to move our country along; the cost is the biggest issue with healthcare. My mother has been a GI Nurse for nearly 26 years now; she has seen how much costs have increased in the past nearly 26 years. Last year, we spent over 2.5 trillion on healthcare in our country; spending that much on healthcare is not too wise if we are ever to see a economic recovery. If nothing is done to solve this issue, then if anyone thinks our economy is suffering now, just wait 40 years from now when healthcare really starts to eat up our economic system; lets hope it never gets to that point because, most likely, I will see that if that does happen. We need to start thinking in a logical sense about how we need to approach this; economically, scientifically, psychologically, mythologically, domestically, legal, cultural, politically, and in a moral/ personal view to go along with that. Let me show everyone here a guide example of how we need to think this out by explaining why I view the theory of Evolution as the way the Universe began:
    In biology, evolution is genetic changes in populations of organisms over successive generations. When a population splits into smaller groups, these groups evolve independently and become new species. Anatomical similarities, geographical distribution of similar species and the fossil record indicate that all species are descended from a common ancestor through a long series of these divergence events, stretching back in a tree of life that has grown over the 3,500 million years of life on Earth, out of its 4.6 billion years.

    Evolution is the product of two opposing forces: processes that constantly introduce variation in traits, and processes that make particular variants become more common or rare. A trait is a particular characteristic such as eye color, height, or a behavior that is expressed when an organism's genes interact with its environment. Genes vary within populations, so organisms show heritable differences (variation) in their traits. The main cause of variation is mutation, which changes the sequence of a gene. Altered genes are then inherited by offspring. There can sometimes also be transfer of genes between species.

    Two main processes cause variants to become more common or rare in a population. One is natural selection, which causes traits that aid survival and reproduction to become more common, and traits that hinder survival and reproduction to become more rare. Natural selection occurs because only a few individuals in each generation will survive, since resources are limited and organisms produce many more offspring than their environment can support. Over many generations mutations produce successive, small, random changes in traits, which are then filtered by natural selection and the beneficial changes retained. This adjusts traits so they become suited to an organism's environment: these adjustments are called adaptations. Not every trait, however, is an adaptation. Another cause of evolution is genetic drift, an independent process that produces entirely random changes in how common traits are in a population. Genetic drift comes from the role that chance plays in whether a trait will be passed on to the next generation.

    What I am trying to say in that explanation of how I personally think the Universe began, is that we need to analyze what is going on with our healthcare system in a logical way as I described above; economically, scientifically, psychologically, mythologically, domestically, legal, cultural, politically, and in a moral/ personal view.
    We also have to realize that each of us are human; we are all flawed in our own degree of state, but we also do possess another ability that I think is even more extravagant and deep in sense than our flaws.
    We possess the rare ability and talent to work together as one human race; as one race in tune to the inner feeling of hope that we all have for eachother. Lets prove to the world that we can accomplish the impossible and have the care to help others in need.
    “Even though we've changed and we're all finding our own place in the world, we all know that when the tears fall or the smile spreads across our face, we'll come to each other because no matter where this crazy world takes us, nothing will ever change so much to the point where we're not all still friends.”

    February 25, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. ObamasRecordDeficit

    DUMocRATS don't seem to have a clue.

    I want to see some level of sanity where most (not all) DUMocRATS and most (not all) Republicans vote for a bill that appeases 80% of the average Americans.

    February 25, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Quit setting time dates Mr. President so far they have all been false profits .

    February 25, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. lindy

    CNN we need the real story check out the Florida newspapers, Rubio is in deep trouble for not only his credit cards but for the handling of the Republican's fundraising money, so is the entire Republican party, the GOP the citizens of Florida are calling for an investigation of the GOP

    Please tell me you know this? Whatever happened to good old investigativ reporting, the kind that Rachael Maddow does, the truth, and nothing but the truth for the American people, when will the media put the people first?

    February 25, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. Hammerer

    Jobless people numbers skyrocket, national debt out of control, housing in the tank, national security almost nill and all Obama and congress can think of is healthcare. After a vast majority of the said to forget Obama care and get on with the needs of the voters.
    Does one need to ask why Americans have no confidence in the government?

    February 25, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. jp,michigan

    Why won't the Obama administration and congress, listen to the American people? Obama is in campaign mode, looking forward to 2012. This health-care bill if rammed through the congress doe snot meet the need of what the American people want, he will be a one term President. Going back to lecturing on constitutional law, instead of practicing it , in the White House. I been watch the summit and Obama appears smug and arrogant, more so than usual. John Macon just brought to light ABMs promises when campaign in 2008, smugly Obama stated he is not longer campaign, in other words I won the election on false pretension.

    February 25, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  25. Jane/Seattle

    Get on with this already! Stop trying to get the Republican'ts! Without a Public Option, this is nothing but smoke and mirrors! Forcing people to buy it without an income increase is just stupidity and it further helps the industry add profits on the backs of everyone!

    February 25, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
1 2