Tech pros hit Issa for taking Park away from HealthCare.gov
November 10th, 2013
05:32 PM ET
9 months ago

Tech pros hit Issa for taking Park away from HealthCare.gov

Updated at 8:08 p.m. ET on 11/10/2013

Washington (CNN) - A group of technology experts has a message for Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican Oversight Committee chairman who last week disregarded the White House’s insistence that U.S. technology chief Todd Park is too busy to testify about his efforts to repair HealthCare.gov.

“Let Todd Work,” the group proclaims on a website launched after Issa issued a subpoena for Park to appear before his panel on Wednesday.


“Now, instead of continuing to fix HealthCare.gov (a mess he did not make), Mr. Park has to spend his hours preparing for his testimony,” declares the website on its homepage, before listing some of Park’s accomplishments.

“Mr. Park is a fantastic civil servant, who cares about making government more effective and accountable, just like Mr. Issa,” the group writes. “We hope that they can work together on solving the policies that enabled HealthCare.gov to fail in the first place. No matter what side of the aisle you sit on, Todd is one of the good guys. Let him do his job.”

A little more than 200 people had signed up to support the website’s cause on Sunday afternoon. The site’s creators are three technology experts with ties to the White House: Clay Johnson and Adam Becker, two former Presidential Innovation fellows, and Michael Aleo, a former White House art director.

"I think Issa's subpoena was caused by a misunderstanding of who Todd Park is, and what his role was and is in this operation," Johnson told CNN.

"What on Earth did he have to do with it in the first place? He's trying to fix it, and to my knowledge trying to clean up somebody else's mess isn't worthy of a subpoena," Johnson continued.

After Issa’s initial request for Park’s testimony, the White House wrote back declaring the chief technology officer was too busy fixing the problem-addled health care portal.

“His testimony needs to be scheduled at a time that is less disruptive to that work,” Donna Pignatelli, the White House’s assistant director for legislative affairs, wrote last week, adding later that “pulling him away … even for a short time at this stage would be highly disruptive and would risk slowing the progress that has been made thus far to fix identified issues with the website.”

Issa, incensed, wrote back on Friday, using his power of subpoena to demand that Park show up before his committee this week.

“Your unwillingness to appear before the committee continues an unfortunate pattern of the current administration when it comes to matters of transparency and Congressional oversight,” Issa wrote in a letter to Park that was released to the media.


Filed under: Health care • Obama administration • White House
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Name Uche Agonsi

    Anybody whose house is on fire doesnt go for poker games. Whether is untimely subpoena or excessive filibusters, these type of Congressmen mighty think they are doing their job/exercising their right, but they are part of the problem.

    November 10, 2013 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  2. Abe

    Issa May at some point wish to practice being a legislator as opposed to neo -mcCarthyite

    November 11, 2013 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  3. Name Paladin

    So the house is on fire and the Mayor wants a meeting down at City Hall with the Fire Chief?

    Brilliant.

    November 11, 2013 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  4. Thomas

    Issa's accomplishments
    Fast and furious ?
    Benghazi ?
    IRS ?

    He is great at intimidating female witnesses .

    November 11, 2013 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  5. Thomas

    Contact the Office of Speaker Boehner.

    Ask him why he dose nothing but complain !

    Ask him why he has no new ides !

    Ask him why he sold out to Jim DeMint's lobby !

    November 11, 2013 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  6. Rogerd

    I would agree if Mr. Parks was actually writing code to correct the problems with the web portal. However as CTO of the project, his role is to provide direction, resources and support. If he needs many hours to "prepare his testimony" what is he try to hide or spin?

    November 11, 2013 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  7. Name

    Issa – that sound is you, circling the drain

    November 11, 2013 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  8. Toltec1

    I try to like and respect all people, regardless of thier political ideology, I swear I really do. I try very hard to see their perspective. It's mighty difficult with folks like Rep Issa. I thought he was busy with Benghazi, or was that the IRS? Unfortunately, President Obama (who I support) and company has given Rep Issa plenty of opportunity to get his mug in front of cameras and lots of free publicity. Can't remember seeing a Representative chair so many investigations. Sorry Mr. Issa, but to me, you are the phoniest of phonies. Peace

    November 11, 2013 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  9. T

    .........Issa....today's McCarty........................Loud, and completely without merit.........

    November 11, 2013 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  10. cumulus

    Wow, the pure hypocracy is stunning, this guy is clearly not interested in the truth, only trying yet again to deflect from the fact that they have zero interest in trying to solve problems, only create more, and obstruct at every opportunity . I'm certain there is a large % of Americans who are growing increasingly aggrivated by this juvenile behavior, and we need to get things done, but the gop just won't do it, they dont fear your vote, only special interest campaign money is their worry.

    November 11, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  11. rick 7903

    Issa has no intention of trying to find solutions, all he wants is a platform to diss the administration. The unfortunate thing is he continues the Rethuglican method of spending more money on "investigations" for purely political reasons. They don't want the health care system to work and they continue to do everything in their power to try and stop it.

    November 11, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  12. Regressive

    Issa is more interested in political gamesmanship than anything else. He always has been and always will be. Still waiting for the good people in his district to fire him. He can go back to his criminal ways.

    November 11, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  13. ghostwriter

    In other words.....Issa.....no one is listening to you anymore. Don't you have more fake Benghazi outrage to stir up? Since the latest batch of lies republicans used to put more hearings on the schedule have turned sour, can we cancel those new hearings? Of course not....never let a fake crisis go to waste.

    November 11, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  14. Larry B.

    This is yet another example of the rampant obstructionism and calculated efforts of the Republican Party to make the Obama administration look bad. Issa should be ashamed of himself.

    November 11, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  15. HeyHey

    Drag Park before congress, no more breaks for anyone connected to this travesty.

    November 11, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  16. Jules

    Wow! Big surprise that Issa doesn't want Healthcare.gov to be fixed or to meet the end of the month deadline. The GOP cannot afford to have the website fixed, because then they know the news is going to change and it will not be good for them to have the Dems continually using 46 votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act over and over again during the 2014 and 2016 elections.

    November 11, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  17. cpathenry

    Selfishness, self-centeredness is the problem with Mr.Issa and many of his Republican fellowship Come on fellows you can do better!!! Ask yourself, "How would a grownup handle this situation"

    November 11, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  18. The REAL Truth...

    Sadly, the GOP (exemplified by Issa and Graham) insist on carrying on with the ongoing political theatre. Graham already knows that Benghazi was a CIA op, fronted by Stephens... he's using the event to embarrass the POTUS. As is Issa... who voted against ACA, voted to REPEAL the law 42+ times, and is now WASTING TAXPAYER DOLLARS on yet another GOP witch hunt whining about the failures of a Govt web site, and all those POOR PEOPLE are unable to sign up the very legislation the GOP has tried to kill 42 times... Hypocrisy duly noted...!!

    November 11, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  19. tom l

    Why do people continue to parrot the lie that repubs don't have any ideas with regards to healthcare. Just do a search and you will find it. I can't say whether the ideas are good or bad because I haven't done enough research but they certainly do have a lot of ideas.

    November 11, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. Becky, OH

    If Mr. Park is so inconvenienced now, where was he when healthcare.gov was being developed? Being a chief technology officer of the President, he should have been on top of the President's baby, not having to mop up the mess!

    November 11, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. tom l

    It's so funny to hear the liberals on here talkijng about phony scandals which have been shown that Obama misled the country on several fronts yet they just don't care because their guy is in office. It's really ironic.

    November 11, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. jinx9to88

    People wake up!!! Why do you think Issa (the witch hunt King) wants to pull the top tech away from fixing the website? I will tell you why, because Issa does not want the website fixed before Nov. 1st which is the date this Admin set to be fixed. Issa is a joke along with the GOP!!! Not one thing Issa has brought forth against this Admin has been true, he wasting tax payers money on these witch hunt. California people need to get Issa removed office next election.

    November 11, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  23. tom l

    @jinx
    Just what would be a good thing to investigate then? How on earth is this a witch hunt? No matter how many times you say it's a witch hunt won't make it true. Unless I'm mistaken and the website is fully functional and it didn't cost hundreds of millions of dollars for a site.

    November 11, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  24. the hippies were right

    PData Driven, good point! I often wonder why objectivity and subjectivity is not discussed more often. I guess a discussion would be pointless, because the right would question the definiions of the two words.

    November 11, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  25. tom l

    @Data

    "GIGO" – Garbage In, Garbage Out. You can make a model demonstrate anything you want to, if you program it correctly.

    On a totally different topic this should give your quote right here should give you an understanding as to why people like me don't buy the whole global warming, errrrrrrrrrrrrrr climate change, argument. Or at least this is why we are highly highly skeptical. :)

    November 11, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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