Kathleen Sebelius to Resign

Obama will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the next HHS secretary.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (L) leaves after the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing about the troubled launch of the Healthcare.gov website October 30, 2013.
National Journal
Sam Baker
Add to Briefcase
Sam Baker
April 10, 2014, 8:49 a.m.

Kath­leen Se­beli­us is resign­ing as Health and Hu­man Ser­vices sec­ret­ary in the wake of the dis­astrous Health­Care.gov launch, a seni­or ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial con­firmed Thursday.

Pres­id­ent Obama will nom­in­ate Sylvia Math­ews Bur­well, the dir­ect­or of the White House budget of­fice, to lead HHS.

Obama had res­isted earli­er calls to fire someone over the Health­Care.gov de­bacle, say­ing he wanted to avoid even more up­heav­al as the de­part­ment scrambled to re­pair the en­roll­ment web­site.

But even though Obama­care en­roll­ment has bounced back since the Oct. 1 launch, Obama and con­gres­sion­al Demo­crats are still feel­ing the polit­ic­al ef­fects of the botched rol­lout and the haphaz­ard policy changes the ad­min­is­tra­tion has made to com­pensate for it.

Obama ac­cep­ted Se­beli­us’s resig­na­tion earli­er this week, ac­cord­ing to The New York Times. The Times said she ap­proached Obama about the de­cision some­time last month, after the web­site had sta­bil­ized and en­roll­ment had be­gun to turn a corner. The tim­ing al­lows the White House to an­swer calls for ac­count­ab­il­ity over the web­site’s ini­tial fail­ure while trum­pet­ing strong en­roll­ment num­bers and giv­ing Demo­crats a chance to call for changes dur­ing Bur­well’s con­firm­a­tion hear­ings.

Still, White House press sec­ret­ary Jay Car­ney ex­pressed con­fid­ence in Se­beli­us just last week, and she said in a March 31 in­ter­view with The Huff­ing­ton Post that she would “ab­so­lutely” stick around through Novem­ber, when the next en­roll­ment peri­od be­gins.

Get­ting Bur­well con­firmed as the new HHS sec­ret­ary will be chal­len­ging, but not im­possible. Re­pub­lic­ans will surely face pres­sure from con­ser­vat­ives not to help the ad­min­is­tra­tion con­tin­ue to im­ple­ment the Af­ford­able Care Act. But a re­cent change to the Sen­ate’s rules means that Demo­crats can ap­prove Bur­well with just 51 votes. And she won con­firm­a­tion to lead the budget of­fice by a 96-0 vote.

What We're Following See More »
STARTS LEGAL FUND FOR WH STAFF
Trump to Begin Covering His Own Legal Bills
16 hours ago
THE DETAILS
DISCUSSED THE MATTER FOR A NEW BOOK
Steele Says Follow the Money
17 hours ago
STAFF PICKS

"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."

Source:
BRITISH PUBLICIST CONNECTED TO TRUMP TOWER MEETING
Goldstone Ready to Meet with Mueller’s Team
18 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter. Rob Goldstone has been living in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been communicating with Mueller's office through his lawyer, said a source close to Goldstone."

Source:
SPEAKING ON RUSSIAN STATE TV
Kislyak Says Trump Campaign Contacts Too Numerous to List
18 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak said on Wednesday that it would take him more than 20 minutes to name all of the Trump officials he's met with or spoken to on the phone. ... Kislyak made the remarks in a sprawling interview with Russia-1, a popular state-owned Russian television channel."

Source:
“BLOWING A SURE THING”
Sabato Moves Alabama to “Lean Democrat”
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login