Image: Key Obama Officials Haven't Lost Jobs Over Scandals

Key Obama Officials Haven't Lost Jobs Over Scandals

Monday, 21 Oct 2013 08:41 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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President Barack Obama's time in office has been marked by several scandals and problems, but only a handful of administration officials have lost their jobs.

Now Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is facing calls for her resignation over the failed launch of the Heatlhcare.gov website, a crucial piece of the Obamacare rollout.

But the president is backing her, reports The Washington Times, and plans to speak about the program in a Monday event at the White House, reports CNN. 

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He's likely to remind the nation that the program is about far more than the problematic website.

House Republicans are to hold a hearing on Thursday to seek answers about the site's failures and other Obamacare issues.

While some lawmakers are calling for Sebelius' resignation, others, such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, simply want her to appear before the committee and testify.

A White House official told The Washington Times on Sunday that Obama plans to directly address the website's technical problems during his address on Monday, and will remind the public that "the healthcare law is about much more than just a website. It’s about finally offering millions of Americans the healthcare security they deserve and giving new benefits and rights to those who have coverage today.”

But if history holds true, Sebelius' job likely is safe, as were the jobs of Attorney General Eric Holder following the Fast and Furious debacle and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's after the attacks on the Benghazi embassy in Libya, The Washington Times reports.

Still, that strategy isn't sitting well with people from either party, Republican strategist Ron Bonjean said.

"Even Democrats believe that someone should be taken to the woodshed for Obamacare’s failures," Bonjean told the Times. “The president has been far too kind to those who aren’t doing their jobs because he has not yet felt political pressure to take action. Now that the shutdown has passed, the pressure will grow for him to make sure someone is accountable.”

White House press secretary Jay Carney said last week that Obama is seeking accountability for the website's problems, but it is "the accountability that comes from making the system better, improving the process for consumers, fixing the problems that have arisen, and making sure that millions of Americans for whom this program was created are getting the benefits that it provides."

But while Carney's words caused much speculation about Sebelius, that doesn't mean the president will ask her to resign, as very few top administration officials have lost their jobs, even after the most serious scandals.

For example, even when Obama told Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to get the resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller during the agency's scandal over targeting tea party groups, Miller actually had only a few days left on the job, anyway. He left on May 15, but his last day on the post was set for June 8. And while he took the fall, many of the problems occurred while he was not in charge. And it took Lois Lerner, head of the IRS exempt-organizations division, until September, or four months later, to step down.

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Other key resignations include CIA Director David Petraeus, or fan extramarital affair; White House aide Van Jones, over pre-administration political activities; and Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod after statements that were misconstrued as being racist. She was eventually asked to return, but refused.

Related Stories:
Like Government, Obamacare Website Shuts Down in Disrepair


Sen. Roberts: Sebelius Must Resign for 'Disastrous' Obamacare Rollout

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