Health and Human Services Secretarywill testify before Congress on the glitches that have plagued the rollout of the Obamacare HealthCare.gov website, according to a statement released by her office Monday.
The statement said that Sebelius will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee "as early as next week" when a "mutually agreeable" date is set.
HHS spokesperson Huffington Post, "We are in close communication with the committee and have expressed our desire to be responsive to their request. We fully intend for the Secretary and other HHS officials to testify before Congress as early as next week ... ", told the
Sebelius had declined an invitation by the committee to testify Thursday. A statement by the HHS said she would not be able to appear before the committee because she has a commitment in Phoenix for the same day.
Republicans have criticized her handling of the botched launching of the Obamacare website and called for her resignation. They have also taken exception to her refusal to appear before the House committee on Thursday.
Democrats have also said she has to appear before the committee to answer questions, but Republicans insisted that she would have to appear on Thursday for the scheduled hearing.
Committee Chairman said, “The rollout has been a complete mess, beyond the worst case scenario, and yet those administration officials responsible have indicated they will not be available to testify next week. This is wholly unacceptable. Secretary Sebelius had time for , and we expect her to have time for Congress.”(R-Mich)
The committe said on Friday, "It's time for Secretary Sebelius to provide answers to Congress."
Before the HHS statement that Sebelius would testify, House Speaker Boehner tweeted, “Secretary Sebelius must change her mind and appear at this week’s hearing in the House. With more than one trillion taxpayer dollars being spent on a completely defective program, Congress is going to get to the bottom of this debacle."
A Boehner spokesman, Brendan Buck, criticized the statement that Sebelius would appear "as early as next week," saying it was "window dressing" and "unacceptable."
Buck said, “To be clear, the House hearing is this week”.
But the Obama administration defended her, saying she has "indicated to the committee that she intended to testify."
On Monday, President delivered a special message to the nation in which he said he had "no excuses" for the problems.
He said the problems would be fixed, emphasizing that the "product is good."