Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 2, 2015

Sebelius Resigning; Burwell to Take Place

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8:37 p.m. | Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning and President Barack Obama will replace her with OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

Sebelius’s resignation comes on a relatively high note, with the White House trumpeting a late surge in initial signups for the Affordable Care Act exchanges — topping 7.5 million just today. But she was deeply damaged by the disastrous initial rollout of the website last year, and there had been speculation on how long she would last as a result.

Sebelius cheered during a Cabinet meeting on Sept. 30, 2013, the day before the disastrous launch of (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Sebelius was cheered during a Cabinet meeting on Sept. 30, 2013, the day before the disastrous launch of (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Health and Human Services released a statement on her decision to resign:

From her work on Head Start, to expanding mental health coverage, to advancing cutting-edge health care research and, of course, her unwavering leadership in implementing the Affordable Care Act, Secretary Sebelius often calls her work here the most meaningful of her life. As she closes this chapter, Secretary Sebelius is extremely thankful to President Obama and very proud of the historic accomplishments of this Administration.

Burwell, who has already cleared one Senate confirmation process, will have to clear another, although in a post-nuclear-option Senate, Republicans do not have the ability to block her nomination. That might have been different if Sebelius had waited until next year, should Republicans take back control of the chamber.

“The president wants to make sure we have a proven manager and relentless implementer in the job over there, which is why he is going to nominate Sylvia,” White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told the Times.

Already, Republicans were praising Burwell’s pick.

“Sylvia Burwell is an excellent choice to be the next #HHS Secretary,” tweeted Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., praised Sebelius for leaving.

“This is the right decision,” he said. “The challenge for Ms. Burwell, or any other successor, is to help Congress find the right way to repair the damage Obamacare has done to American families.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., put out a statement thanking Sebelius for her service and lauding Burwell’s nomination.

“I am so pleased that Sylvia Mathews Burwell, a native West Virginian and current Director of the Office of Management and Budget, has been nominated as the next Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services,” he said. “Sylvia’s experience in both the public and private sector, matched with the bipartisan relationships she has built over the years, shows that she is a public servant ready to take on this country’s challenges. I am confident that her leadership will ensure that we enact commonsense fixes to the Affordable Care Act to help improve the lives of millions of Americans.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., praised Sebelius in a lengthy statement.

“Her legacy will be found in the 7.5 million Americans signed up on the marketplaces so far, the 3.1 million people covered on their parents’ plans, and the millions more gaining coverage through the expansion of Medicaid,” she said. “Beyond the law, her lasting impact will be felt in her work to expand mental health services, decrease disparities across communities, and promote women’s health.”

Burwell’s pick creates an opening at budget, which will also require Senate confirmation.

It’s not immediately clear who will get tapped for the post. The current deputy director is Brian Deese, and senior Obama adviser Rob Nabors also is a former deputy director.

Republicans also used the occasion to whack the Affordable Care Act yet again.

“I thank Secretary Sebelius for her service. She had an impossible task: nobody can make Obamacare work,” tweeted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.

With Sebelius’ departure, just five of Obama’s original cabinet members remain — Eric Shinseki at Veterans Affairs, Shaun Donovan at Housing and Urban Development, Arne Duncan at Education, Eric Holder at Justice, and Tom Vilsack at Agriculture.

Comments (20)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Jessie

    April 10, 2014
    8:17 p.m.

    Another political hack to fill an important role….hmmm….let me guess how this is going to turn out……
    What could go wrong?

  2. Hail_to_the_victors

    April 11, 2014
    9:59 a.m.

    The woman should be headed for prison.

    • Rob_Chapman

      April 14, 2014
      10:02 a.m.

      You mean like a GOP-run concentration camp for liberals?

      • Hail_to_the_victors

        April 15, 2014
        9:01 a.m.

        I would call them extermination camps. Because they like unborn children will not come out alive.

        • Rob_Chapman

          April 17, 2014
          5:45 a.m.

          Sad to know that there are people in America who think still think vicious graffiti like your comment is a form of self-expression.

          You are a pathetic excuse for a human being.

          • Hail_to_the_victors

            April 17, 2014
            10:36 a.m.

            Rob. can you here the unborn child’s silent scream? It has happened over 50 million times in America.

          • Rob_Chapman

            April 18, 2014
            6:53 a.m.

            Hail, you are a sick puppy and hardly one to call for mercy after the remark advocating death camps.

            The law of the land gives me to the right to tell people like you to keep your big fat nose out of my family and gives everyone else the same right.

            Keeping sick and twisted individuals like you out of my affairs is a right I will support with every legal means at my disposal.

  3. Rob_Chapman

    April 14, 2014
    10:01 a.m.

    Already, Republicans were praising Burwell’s pick.

    Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., praised Sebelius for leaving.

    “This is the right decision,” he said. “The challenge for Ms. Burwell, or any other successor, is to help Congress find the right way to repair the damage Obamacare has done to American families.”

    This is praise?

    But at least the Senate appears willing not to provoke an unjustifiable nomination’s fight.

  4. Raj Err

    April 15, 2014
    8:13 a.m.

    It’s also true that part of the inspiration for Obamacare came from the collectivist tendencies imported by Stuart Chase in the 1930s:

  5. Anonymous

    June 27, 2015
    4:54 a.m.

    Great write-up, I am normal visitor of one¦s website, maintain up the nice operate, and It’s going to be a regular visitor for a lengthy time.

  6. Anonymous

    July 2, 2015
    11:48 a.m.

    We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

  7. Anonymous

    July 8, 2015
    12:12 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your web site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched all over the place and simply could not come across. What a great website.

  8. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    5:30 a.m.

    Howdy! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  9. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    1:14 a.m.

    Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

  10. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    10:03 a.m.

    I was just searching for this info for some time. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your site. I wonder what’s the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this type of informative websites in top of the list. Generally the top web sites are full of garbage.

  11. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    5:48 p.m.

    I have not checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

  12. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    9:22 p.m.

    Oh my goodness! a tremendous article dude. Thanks However I am experiencing concern with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting identical rss drawback? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  13. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    8:42 a.m.

    I got what you mean , regards for putting up.Woh I am thankful to find this website through google.

  14. Google

    July 30, 2015
    2:42 a.m.

    Check below, are some completely unrelated internet sites to ours, nonetheless, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use.

  15. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    6:58 p.m.

    Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored at work so I decided to check out your website on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, excellent blog!

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...