Republican senators hit Sebelius on Obamacare fundraising
May 30th, 2013
01:05 PM ET
9 years ago

Republican senators hit Sebelius on Obamacare fundraising

Washington (CNN) – Several Republican senators are calling for an investigation into whether the head of Health and Human Services violated appropriations and ethics rules when she reportedly tried to raise funds for a group that is working to help put Obamacare in place.

"Major news outlets in recent weeks have reported that U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is raising money from the private sector-including from health care executives-for use by a private entity, Enroll America, that is helping to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," the Republicans, who are the ranking members on several key committees, wrote the HHS inspector general on Thursday.

"These activities call into question whether appropriations and ethics laws are being followed," Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee the ranking Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, and Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma the ranking Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee wrote.

Those actions are now also under investigation by two House committees. Several other Republicans have also recently written a letter to the U.S. Comptroller General asking for an investigation into the matter.

HHS provided a previously released statement on the matter that said, in part: "the Secretary has made no fundraising requests to entities regulated by HHS."

"Since March, the Secretary has made two fundraising calls on behalf of Enroll America to two organizations-the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and H&R Block-neither of which is regulated by us and both of whom share a commitment to helping uninsured Americans," the HHS said. "Her calls were in line with a special section of the Public Health Service Act, in place since 1976, that allows this and previous Secretaries to support and to encourage others to support nonprofit organizations promoting health."

Filed under: Health care • Kathleen Sebelius • President Obama
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    The most corrupt administration in histort.

    May 30, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Just say it gop, you hate the black will feel soooo much better and afterwards maybe will accept your character for what it is...just say it and free yourself and in the process, free the rest of us from your insecurities and bs

    May 30, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. Tom

    I wish some Democrat would take the time to add up how much all these crazy investigations are costing the American people. We have programs going unfunded (or underfunded) thanks to the sequester. We have Republicans always complaining about the cost of social programs. Yet we seem to have unlimited funds to stage pointless witch hunts.

    May 30, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. jsmoulder

    Sebelius is a snake, Obama appointing her to be the HHS secretary was the best thing that could happen for Kansas at the time.

    May 30, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. Mike Wallace

    This has been happening since Reagan. Now it is an issue? Politicians fundraise for non-profits all of the time.

    May 30, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Gary

    Another Republican investigation. Now there's a surprise. The other BS scandels must be losing steam. Time to stoke the fire.

    May 30, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  7. Thomas

    The GOP will do anything to stop compassionate responsible health care.

    GOP Greed 2016

    May 30, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  8. much thunder..little rain

    why do the democrats make repulicans job so easy ..just do right ...easy rule

    May 30, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Eddie B

    I am so sick of the GOP. how about the jobs GOP were are they you promised Jobs not witch hunts.

    May 30, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  10. Loyalright

    This woman does exactly what BO tells her. He told her to beg, borrow, and steal and that is what she is doing. Whatever it takes, just get it done.

    May 30, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)
    The most corrupt administration in histort.
    Please tell the people why Bush' Deputy Attorney General Mr. Comey and FBI Director Mueller were going to resign. Better yet, let's go with who outted a CIA operative for $2000 Alex. Please enlighten us.

    May 30, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "The most corrupt administration in histort [sic]"

    The most accused administration in history.


    May 30, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. diogeron

    It appears that even after a second drubbing in the election, the GOP's only policy is to attack Obama and attempt to impede him at every turn. The country be damned. It's pathetic.

    May 30, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  14. Lisa P.

    Another no there there, spun up super fluffy "scandal!" Seriously, GOP. And Dick Cheney outsourcing the Iraq War to KBR never raised the smallest, slightest squeak in the dark and lonely recesses of your moral and ethical consciences? Not a whiff of impropriety? Nothing?

    May 30, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    The Dubya administration did the exact same thing to try to get funding for their unfunded Medicare Part D debacle.

    May 30, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. Thomas

    @Sherryin Bama
    Thank God for the GOP and Issa getting to the bottom of this mess in DC.
    If it were not for them, you dems and your puppet masters would have swept it under the rug and let the bully tactics of this admin continue.
    You don't care about anything except yourselves and it shows. VERY much like Obama.
    This government cannot do whatever it wants at the expense of American citizens and the ability to see what is going on through the press. If you have no problem with the scandals, you are truly sheep. You are in for a surprise come November and you will find your path to destruction will not be an easy one.


    Has Methamphetamine affected you or somebody you love ?

    May 30, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  17. scarf

    I can understand having laws in place to prevent government employees from soliciting donations from regulated organziations to support what could be considered partisan activities. Why should political contributions for Congressional/Presidential candidates or SuperPacs be any different, never mind secret?

    May 30, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. Ferret out the BS

    Interesting how the Republicans always seem to unconver some sort of scandal in the second term of a Democratic administration, no matter how trivial it is. This certainly seems to be their formula for taking back the White House in the next Presidential election and decidely not because of outstanding governance and leadership by the Republicans. That is how this country ends up with the like of the GW Bush administration. There does not seem to be anyone any better on the horizon for the Republicans so again they resort to slander and libelous accusations leading to endless investigations.

    May 30, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    So let me get this straight – the republicans refuse funding for implementation, and then investigate Sebelius for trying to find funding? Priceless.

    May 30, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. just sayin

    a cabinet level democrat government official extorting money from people to help pay for their self inflicted train wreck. how special is that?! what next? irs agents going door to door asking for "voluntary" donations to fund obamacare? of course, there would be no pressure to contribute, right?

    May 30, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. wade

    Oh well another day another scandal for Obama . Just business as usual.LOL

    May 30, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. NameFrank Deery

    She and Holder need to go, or Obama's second term, already a disaster, will worsen..
    Did he even Read that rushed, convoluted
    health care blll that was jammed through the
    Congress by Reid/Pelosi? Fundraising was-and is-Obama's forte, not leadership!

    Let Biden do it.

    May 30, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC


    The Dubya administration did the exact same thing to try to get funding for their unfunded Medicare Part D debacle.
    Actually, they did worse. Instead of fund raising for an outside group. The outside groups donated to Republican campaigns. I believe that Republicans call it lobbying.

    May 30, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. Clip

    Politicians have fundraised for non-profits for decades? There is nothing unethical about this. What a total abuse of the system in a pitiful attempt to bog down the implementation of this law.

    The fund raising is targeted at initiating a campaign to inform citizens of the deadline, how to purchase far more affordable insurance through the exchanges, etc. Almost half of Americans still don't realize Obamacare is actual law and they need to purchase insurance by October.

    May 30, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. just askin

    if she needs money she can take the half billion dollars they give planned abortion every year. see how easy that problem was solved?

    May 30, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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