Darrell Issa Slams White House on Health Care Site’s Traffic

“You gave a number. That number was erroneous,” Issa said.

Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Rep Darrell Issa, R-CA, speaks during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the Benghazi attacks in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on September 19, 2013. 
National Journal
Add to Briefcase
Dustin Volz
Nov. 13, 2013, 6:03 a.m.

The an­ti­cip­a­tion sur­round­ing the testi­mony of White House Chief Tech­no­logy Of­ficer Todd Park’s testi­mony on the IT short­com­ings of Health­Care.gov be­fore the House Over­sight Com­mit­tee boiled over quickly Wed­nes­day, as Chair­man Dar­rell Issa ag­gress­ively de­man­ded to know the site’s volume cap­ab­il­it­ies.

Issa began his line of ques­tion­ing by vig­or­ously ask­ing Park what the web­site’s traffic cap­ab­il­it­ies were today and “on day one.” Park said that the web­site can cur­rently handle about 20,000 to 25,000 users be­fore con­ced­ing, “Clearly, on day one, the sys­tem was over­whelmed by volume.” 

Issa said the Cen­ters for Medi­care and Medi­caid Ser­vices had de­signed the site to be able to handle 50,000 to 60,000 sim­ul­tan­eous cus­tom­ers at launch.

“You gave a num­ber, that num­ber was er­ro­neous,” Issa said. “The Amer­ic­an people can un­der­stand that you’re only as strong as your weak­est link.”

Cum­mings re­buked Issa for his harsh lan­guage and tone and at­temp­ted to de­fend Park’s pro­fes­sion­al repu­ta­tion.

“It was the case that volume was a key is­sue,” Park con­tin­ued. “It is still an is­sue, al­though we are rap­idly ex­pand­ing the cap­ab­il­ity of the site.”

The White House had pre­vi­ously in­dic­ated that Park might be un­able to testi­fy at today’s hear­ing be­cause he was busy work­ing on re­pair­ing the site’s func­tion­al­ity. Issa is­sued a sub­poena to Park on Fri­day, which promp­ted the cre­ation of web­site, LetToddWork.org, re­quest­ing that ark be al­lowed to con­tin­ue his day job.


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.