Senators question ObamaCare hiring

But they questioned whether all of those jobs truly represented the "critical needs" for which direct-hire authority is usually reserved.

"Please explain why there was a 'critical need' for HHS to waive provisions of federal hiring law to hire 90 dental officers to implement the health care law," they wrote.

The letter to OPM also says HHS would have had to hire 10 people per day to fill all of the positions OPM designated as critical.

"The pace of hiring that would be required for HHS to maximize this authority and fill each of those 'critical needs' is incredible," the lawmakers wrote.

In addition to Coburn, the letter questioning HHS's hiring authority was signed by Sens. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrHillicon Valley: New FTC chief eyes shake up of tech regulation | Lawmakers target Google, Huawei partnership | Microsoft employees voice anger over ICE contract On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending Senate Intel requests more testimony from Comey, McCabe MORE (R-N.C.), Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), Charles GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley wants to subpoena Comey, Lynch after critical IG report Senate Dems call for Judiciary hearing on Trump's 'zero tolerance' Republicans agree — it’s only a matter of time for Scott Pruitt MORE (R-Iowa), Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteHeitkamp ad highlights record as Senate race heats up Ernst, Fischer to square off for leadership post The Hill's Morning Report: Koch Network re-evaluating midterm strategy amid frustrations with GOP MORE (R-N.H.) and John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneRepublicans agree — it’s only a matter of time for Scott Pruitt Senate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending MORE (R-S.D.).