President Barack Obama met Tuesday night with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to discuss the merging of House and Senate health care reform legislation.
Lawmakers and White House officials were not available for comment after the session. But White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs earlier Tuesday indicated he expected a substantive meeting in which the president and the Congressional leaders would discuss ways to iron out the differences between the two bills. Gibbs also indicated the White House may not object to having the legislation considered outside of a conference committee, as appears likely.
Democrats are hoping to reconcile differences between House and Senate versions of health care reform by February.