Even as it pressures lawmakers to pass its $1 trillion health care initiative, the White House is being forced to face some stark economic realities.
President Barack Obama's annual midsummer budget update is sure to reflect higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than its more optimistic assessments in February and May.
The administration had predicted unemployment would peak at 9 percent without a stimulus package. It has since soared to 9.5 percent and that's on the back of a $787 stimulus bill.
The administration has already delayed the release of the update, scheduled for mid-July, until the middle of next month. That date change has some speculating the White House is delaying the bad news until Congress leaves town Aug. 7 on its summer recess.
But, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs blames the delay on the "transition from one administration to the next" and not on any attempt to deceive Congress.