President Obama is not ready to tackle the military's ban on open gay service, National Security Adviser James Jones told John King on CNN's State of the Union.

Democrats in the House, led by Pennsylvania Representative Patrick Murphy, have already introduced a bill that would repeal the 1993 law that forbids gay and lesbian service members from revealing their sexuality at the risk of losing their jobs. A Senate version is rumored to be in the offing.

In a letter addressed to the president last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, urged the White House to move quickly to end the law, also known as “don't ask, don't tell.”

“As Congress considers future legislative action, we believe it would be helpful to hear your views on the policy,” Reid wrote in a letter addressed to the president. “I therefore request that you bring to Congress your recommendations on DADT (don't ask, don't tell).”

Jones, however, said Sunday that the time was not right.

“The president has an awful lot on his desk,” Jones answered King, who asked, “Is it time now?” “I know this is an issue that he intends to take on at the appropriate time. He has already signaled that to the Defense Department. The Defense Department is doing the things it has to do to prepare, but at the right time, I'm sure the president will take it on.”

“No idea when the right time is?” King pressed.

“Um, I don't think it's going to be – it's not years, but I think it will be teed up appropriately,” Jones responded.

During the presidential campaign Obama pledged to repeal the law but as president has refused to sign an executive order that would end the discharges while repeal legislation is being debated in Congress, saying he's looking for a “durable” solution from Congress.

Approximately 13,000 gay and lesbian service members have been drummed out of the military since the policy was enacted in 1993.