Obama: Sebelius ‘Got The Job Done’
Friday, April 11, 2014
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who has borne the brunt of criticism for the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act, is at the White House this morning for the formal announcement that she is stepping down after five years in the Obama administration.
President Obama is announcing that he's nominating Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who now heads the Office of Management and Budget, to replace Sebelius.
The White House will stream the event here. We'll update this post with highlights.
Update at 11:07 a.m. ET. Burwell Is A "Proven Manager":
Of his nominee, Obama says Burwell is a "proven manager and she knows how to deliver results."
"I hope the Senate confirms Sylvia without delay," Obama adds.
Update at 11 a.m. ET. "She's Got Bumps, I've Got Bumps," But She "Got The Job Done":
Addressing the health care act's troubled launch, Obama says of Sebelius that "she's got bumps; I've got bumps." But, the president continues, Sebelius "turned the corner, got it fixed, got the job done and the final score speaks for itself." He cites administration statistics showing 7.5 million people signing up for Obamacare as evidence.
Update at 10:57 a.m. Cheers For Sebelius:
As the president, Sebelius and Burwell come to the podium in the White House Rose Garden, there are cheers from the staff in attendance for the outgoing secretary.
Of Sebelius, Obama says he will "miss her advice ... friendship ... and wit." Burwell, he adds, has those traits "in abundance."
-- Fox News reports that "Republicans responded to news of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' resignation from the Obama administration on Thursday with fresh calls to repeal the president's health care law."
-- The Wall Street Journal predicts that the 48-year-old Burwell, "a veteran of the Clinton White House and Treasury Department who has held senior roles at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walmart Foundation, will face close scrutiny because the agency she has been tapped to run oversees some of the most polarizing and expensive parts of the federal budget."
Still, The Washington Post notes that Burwell "is popular on Capitol Hill. The Senate confirmed her as OMB director 96 to 0 almost exactly a year ago." She will need to be confirmed by the Senate before becoming HHS secretary.
-- Politico says that "for all of the accomplishments Sebelius could have been remembered for — getting the massive pieces of the Affordable Care Act underway, negotiating with the states, writing the complicated rules needed to make its interconnected parts work — the one thing that will always define her legacy is the website disaster that happened on her watch."
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