MILWAUKEE (AP) — U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan has called on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to resign over technical problems plaguing the federal health care exchange.
The Wisconsin Republican said Sebelius should step down during a phone conversation with Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who's running for governor and wants the secretary ousted, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday.
"I do agree with that," he told the newspaper when asked about Cuccinelli's call. "I think this rollout has been a fiasco."
Ryan recalled Sebelius' earlier testimony to lawmakers that "the rollout was going to be almost flawless."
"If you're in charge of bringing in one of the biggest laws we've had in a generation, effectively taking over 18 percent of our economy, you claim it's going to be on time, you're given warnings that it isn't and then you do it anyway, I think people should be held responsible," he said.
Ryan, who's chairman of the House Budget Committee, also released a letter Wednesday asking Sebelius to detail the costs of the "tech surge" the Obama administration says will fix the system and criticizing her for not responding to his earlier requests for her to testify before his committee.
"The American people have a right to know how your department intends to manage this large, complex program," Ryan wrote. Your continued silence on these important inquiries after refusing to testify raises serious questions about the administration's commitment to transparency and accountability."
Sebelius' office did not response directly to Ryan's comments or letter but said she "fully intends" to testify before Congress next week.