Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has joined the partisan spat over the congressional HealthCare.gov investigation by registering her discontent with Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa in a letter to Speaker John A. Boehner.
On Wednesday, Pelosi wrote a letter to the speaker requesting “an immediate classified briefing with the Administration’s top cybersecurity officials” regarding the handling — or mishandling, as Democrats contend — of the troubled website’s documents.
More than a briefing, however, Pelosi wants Boehner to know that she has a problem with Issa releasing “excerpts” from the documents.
While Issa released only a few sentences from the HealthCare.gov security assessment — none of which contains specific information on how to hack the site — Pelosi said she was concerned with “Chairman Issa’s blatant efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act” and “the danger of a breach of security and trust across government.”
Oversight and Government Reform ranking member Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland and other Democrats on the panel had requested a meeting to discuss the handling of the documents. But Issa released a few, select sentences before such a meeting anyway — something that Democrats say is against House rules.
Pelosi stopped short of writing that Issa’s actions ran contrary to the rules, but she certainly seems to believe that Issa’s actions were inappropriate.
Oversight and Government Reform Republicans didn’t comment directly on the Pelosi letter, but they did note that Issa sent Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius a letter Tuesday requesting a meeting with her to discuss the security concerns.
“We have not, however, heard from HHS whether the secretary intends to follow with a meeting or if they are reneging on their offer,” the communications director for panel Republicans, Frederick Hill, told CQ Roll Call on Wednesday.
HHS officials had earlier told Issa they didn’t trust him to not release the documents.