Thirty-three House Republicans sent a letter Thursday to President Obama
, urging him to ask for the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over the problem-plagued federal website for the new insurance marketplace.
The Obamacare enrollment website, HealthCare.gov, has suffered persistent problems since it went live on Oct. 1 — and they are bad enough that Sebelius should resign, the GOP critics wrote, the Daily Caller reported
"The scope of the problem is so great that, were this a private company or military command, the CEO or general would have been fired," the lawmakers wrote.
"We are, therefore, calling on you to hold Secretary Sebelius accountable for the fiasco that is HealthCare.gov and ask for her resignation."
A defiant Sebelius rebuffed the request, saying the letter-writing lawmakers are “people I don’t work for," Fox News reported
The GOP critics said the rollout should have been delayed until the website was fully functional, but that by asking Sebelius to resign, Obama could help salve the wound.
“It’s not too late,” they wrote. “By calling for the resignation of Secretary Sebelius, you can send a powerful signal that the American people will not be held responsible for her department’s failures. By granting a delay in the rollout of Obamacare, you can ensure fairness for all Amercians, not just the select few.”
“It’s clear that Secretary Sebelius has mismanaged the Obamacare rollout and is in over her head," the lawmakers wrote.
"Before the train wreck is allowed to continue … before more taxpayer dollars are spent trying to fix what’s already wrong … and before the Secretary continues on her damage-control tour, it’s time for the president to admit that, despite three-and-a-half years to prepare, his HHS Secretary has dropped the ball on this and needs to step down."
The letter was signed by Louisiana Rep. John Fleming, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan, Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, Arizona Rep. David Schweikert, Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster, Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp, Michigan Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, Texas Rep. Steve Stockman, California Rep. Doug LaMalfa, Montana Rep. Steve Daines, Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine, Florida Rep. Ted Yoho, Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey, Texas Rep. Pete Olson, Ohio Rep. Bob Gibbs, Tennessee Rep. Stephen Fincher, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis, Texas Rep. Randy Weber, Ohio Rep. Jim Renacci, Indiana Rep. Larry Bucshon, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Maryland Rep. Andy Harris, Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler, Mississippi Rep. Alan Nunnelee, Texas Rep. Roger Williams, North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones, Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, Georgia Rep. Paul Broun, Missouri Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, Florida Rep. Steve Southerland, and Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks.
During a tour of a call center in Phoenix, Sebelius stood her ground.
“No one is getting fired” over the glitches, she insisted, adding that her focus is to get the website up and running, Fox News reported.
“The majority of people calling for me to resign I would say are people who I don't work for, and who do not want this program to work in the first place,” she said.
“I have had frequent conversations with the president and I've committed to him that my role is to get the program up and running and we will do just that.”
Sebelius is expected to testify on the healthcare law before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, Fox News reported.
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