Issa subpoenas Obama's tech chief

Darrell Issa has subpoenaed the Obama administration’s Chief Technology Officer Todd Park to testify before his committee next Wednesday on the ObamaCare rollout.

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“Given your continued unwillingness to appear voluntarily next week, I am left with no choice but to compel your appearance.  Please find attached to this letter a subpoena for your testimony before the Committee next Wednesday, November 13, 2013,” Issa wrote in a letter to Park late Friday evening. 

Issa serves as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, which organized this hearing on the HealthCare.gov issues. He threatened to subpoena Park on Thursday. 

Park’s office, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, shot back at Issa’s request Friday.

“These efforts to accommodate your interest in hearing from Mr. Park were rebuffed and met instead with a subpoena threat in your letter yesterday. You explained that the Committee feels it has a duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch, but conspicuously absent from your letter was any statement or justification that would explain the legislative need to compel Mr. Park to appear next week as opposed to a few weeks from now,” wrote Donna Pignatelli, assistant director for legislative affairs in the letter to Issa.

"OSTP is left to wonder why you would demand Mr. Park appear on November 13, knowing that doing so is more likely to hurt rather than help the goal of fixing the website as soon as possible.” 

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At the moment, only Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), is scheduled to testify alongside other IT experts at the hearing.

An official in the Office of Science and Technology Policy had previously told Issa that Park was too busy repairing HealthCare.gov to appear before December. 

“Your unwillingness to appear before the Committee continue an unfortunate pattern of the current Administration when it comes to matters of transparency and Congressional oversight,” Issa wrote to Park Friday.

Issa said in an interview on Fox News Thursday that Park engaged in “a pattern of interference and false statements.”

The committee’s top Democrat, Elijah Cummings (Md.) requested Friday that Issa apologize to Park and to White House spokesman Jay Carney, whom Issa said, also in the interview, “is paid to say things that just aren’t so." 

Issa has threatened to subpoena Obama administration officials who have knowledge of the marketplace’s unveiling, including Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.