WASHINGTON - Ten Republican senators have called on President Obama to fire Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who is overseeing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and its troubled website.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and nine other senators told Obama they were concerned not only with the botched rollout of healthcare.gov, but the implementation of the broader law, which they all oppose. Dozens of House Republicans have also pushed for Sebelius’ dismissal.
“While assurances have been made that solutions are forthcoming, we have little confidence that immediate resolution is imminent,” the senators said in a letter to the president Thursday. “We believe that action must be taken swiftly to protect the American people from further fallout. If a similar rollout from any other national company or private-sector business resulted in overwhelming and sustained problems, a high-profile dismissal would be expected and appropriate.”
The White House has repeatedly said it would not dismiss Sebelius, who was a popular two-term governor of Republican-heavy Kansas before taking the post.
Democrats in Congress have said the administration should hold those responsible for the website problems accountable, but have stopped short of calling for Sebelius’ ouster.
Roberts, who has represented Kansas for three Senate terms, is up for reelection in 2014. He was among the first members of Congress to call for her dismissal.
The other Republican senators signing the letter were Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, John Cornyn of Texas, Ted Cruz of Texas, Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming, Jim Risch of Idaho, Mark Steven Kirk of Illinois, John Barrasso of Wyoming, James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Alexander, Cornyn, Enzi, Risch and Inhofe also are up for reelection.