House GOP demands HHS briefing
October 22nd, 2013
09:53 PM ET
11 months ago

House GOP demands HHS briefing

Washington (CNN) - It appears the White House and House Republicans are engaged in a bitter game of telephone.

The spat started when word spread that House Democrats would receive a briefing from the Department of Health and Human Services on the Affordable Care Act. Michael Hash, who leads the HHS Office of Health Reform, will meet with the Democratic caucus at their weekly meeting to discuss Obamacare's rollout - the first administration official to brief Congress since healthcare.gov launched on October 1.


House Republicans expressed their outrage and requested their own briefing.

“Far too much information about Obamacare’s rollout is being concealed from the public," said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner. "All members - as well as the American people - deserve answers for this debacle. That’s why we have asked the administration to provide the same briefing to House Republicans. This snub is all the more offensive after Secretary Sebelius declined to testify at a House hearing this week. It’s time for the Obama administration to honor its promises of transparency and face some accountability.”

A Democratic source shot back, telling CNN that House Republicans had missed their chance.

"White House officials reached out to the House Republican Leadership on (September 25) offering ACA briefings, and they did not respond at all," said the source.

Within minutes, Speaker Boehner's spokesman responded.

"No one on our staff was made such an offer," said Buck.

"It's unclear how the White House could have offered to brief Congress on the failure of healthcare.gov at a time when it claimed to believe the site would work just fine. This was just a day before the president told the country that the site was going to work like Kayak or Amazon.com. But if this response means they'd like to brief us, we accept and hope to set one up at their earliest convenience."

No response from the White House just yet.

–CNN’s Jim Acosta and Conor Finnegan contributed to this report.


Filed under: HHS • House Republicans • Obamacare
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. wgguy

    they need to make up their collective minds

    October 22, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  2. basedonfact

    I think maybe the House GOP need to stop demanding things and start asking for them.

    October 22, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  3. Bubba

    Why bother explaining anything to the GOP? They are going to come up with their own version anyway, so why waste the effort?

    October 22, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  4. Evergreen

    OMG! Here we go again. Maybe You were too busy planning to shutdown the government to answer the phone.

    October 22, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  5. Krambo

    Children demand things all the time. That doesn't mean you have to give them a second thought.

    October 22, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  6. Gem2013

    Ooohhhh witch hunt is on again. More endless hearings and soapbox speeches. As if they could impeach the president for computer glitches. Geez, what's next, blaming him for tornadoes, lightning strikes an earthquakes. Nuts!

    October 22, 2013 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  7. S. B. Stein

    As far as I am concerned, the GOP of the House should have been asking for updates from when the programmers started coding the site. Why does it seem that these people are late to the party and asking that the games start from the beginning after the game has started?

    October 22, 2013 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  8. simplyput

    Another day, another Unafforable Health Care lie.

    October 22, 2013 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  9. Woman from New York

    Don't these guys have more important work to do like JOBS – JOBS -JOBS. We just lost 24 billion on their last stunt.

    October 22, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  10. Michael Benjamin

    Good old congressional hearings. Always late and a dollar short.

    October 23, 2013 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  11. Felix

    These idiots should be working on a deal for next round!

    October 23, 2013 03:56 am at 3:56 am |
  12. Felix

    Why are republicans wasting time on the technicalities of a website rather than working out a deal to avoid shutting the government down again. These people don't have a clue!! Leave the technical stuff to the technicians!!! DO YOUR JOB!!!

    October 23, 2013 04:18 am at 4:18 am |
  13. A True Conservative

    Sorry Congress – Democrat goverment officials are too busy to come to see you...they have parties to attend.....and website roll outs.....you see they are just too cool for things like answering to Congress. Besides, their supporters don't expect them to be accountable for anything.....just keep giving their voters more free stuff.....that's how we do it in America. Thank God the Tea Party is so stuck on trying to rein in an out of control government.....that ensures that they will NEVER win an election!

    October 23, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |