Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on Monday urged the House Oversight Committee to investigate Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for attempting to obstruct a congressional subpoena.
“Why does nothing ever happen to people that don’t do what Congress requires them to do?” Gowdy asked on Fox’s "On The Record." “The fact that Kathleen Sebelius, if she told someone not to conform to a subpoena, even if they ultimately do [conform], I would encourage Chairman Issa to still investigate it.”
Gowdy said he was optimistic Issa would comply with his recommendation.
“To me, it’s not all is well that ends well,” he said. “If you counsel someone to impede a congressional investigation, even if they don’t take your advice, I would still love to see them investigated, and my suspicion is that my advice will be well received by Chairman Issa.”
Issa’s attempts to obtain physical copies of six reports prepared by contractors that outline security vulnerabilities with HealthCare.gov has sparked a bitter battle between himself and the Obama administration.
The chairman first sought the documents directly from the Health and Human Services Department, which allowed his office to view the documents in a secure setting but would not hand over the documents for his keeping.
The administration argued that Issa has a history of selectively leaking documents for political gain and could not therefore be trusted with the sensitive data in the documents.
Issa responded by issuing subpoenas to the contractors directly, but HHS advised the companies that their contacts prohibited them from giving documents to third parties.
“I’ve got news for Secretary Sebelius — Congress is not a third party,” Gowdy said Monday.
Two of the contractors have since complied with Issa’s subpoenas.
“We recognize the seriousness of the situation and are taking appropriate steps to secure the information we have obtained and consult with experts on sensitive technical information,” Issa said in a statement on Monday. “We only wish the administration had taken security concerns this seriously before launching its website.”