I hate to disappoint you guys, but he has.
WASHINGTON -- Democrats are accusing House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) of releasing yet another damning excerpt of testimony on the troubled Obamacare website and leaving out important context.Furthermore:
Issa claimed in his release, sent after 7 p.m. on Veterans Day, that the official in charge of running the health care exchanges -- or the "Federal Facilitated Marketplaces" -- found it "disturbing" to have not seen a Sept. 3 memo that seemed to indicate six security risks, including two deemed to be high.
Indeed, Henry Chao, the deputy chief information officer and deputy director of the Office of Information Services at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), acknowledged in a Nov. 1 interview with Issa's committee investigators that it was “disturbing” he hadn't seen the memo and appeared to have been excluded.
But Democratic committee staff pointed out that the memo talks about two specific systems: the "Qualified Health Plans (QHP) and Dental modules." CMS told the Oversight Committee that the relevant parts of those programs will not be online until the spring, meaning they actually pose no security risk now, Democrats said. On top of that, the systems flagged as potentially posing a risk will be used by insurance companies and will not transmit people's personal information, they said.
An administration source confirmed that the "modules" are back-end pieces of the website and that consumers never come in contact with them in the marketplace. The official also said that the problems identified in the Sept. 3 memo have been fixed.
Part of the apparent confusion stems from redactions of the memo. In the two spots where an attachment lists "open high" risks, the specific risks and the areas they affect are blacked out. However, the document does reveal the dates by which CMS officials expect the risks to be fixed -- May 31, 2014, and Feb. 26, 2015 -- which seems to back the Democrats' argument that there is no immediate threat.It has now become apparent that Darrell Issa, as House Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman is using his position to do nothing more than to fire up the GOP and Tea Party base, as well as get campaign contributions.
Democrats have been willing to admit that the rollout of the health care website is a mess, but they've bristled at what they see as Issa's attempts to hype non-existent problems in order to generate headlines.
“It’s hard to understand why anyone would trust the accuracy of Chairman Issa’s press releases when they consistently distort and manipulate the truth," a Democratic committee staffer said in an emailed statement. "The Chairman’s staff basically sandbagged this witness with a document he had never seen before and then failed to inform him that it has nothing to do with parts of the website that launched on October 1. In fact, it relates to a function of the website that is not currently active and won’t be until the spring of 2014. Rather than seeking out the truth, this press release tries to scare the public by capitalizing on confusion caused by the Chairman’s own staff.”
Just think about it: If Issa continues to pick and chose whatever information that's negative about the Healthcare.gov website through documents and memos when in a larger picture they don't present a negative light on the Healthcare.gov roll out, then he's clearly not doing oversight but fundraising and using his stature as Congressman for nothing else.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Darrell Issa is always trying to smooth talk his way out of situations which clearly are his doing, as evident here with Thomas Pickering who was asked by David Gregory on Meet the Press on his willingness to appear on a Benghazi hearing. Pickering mentions he was told he was not welcome at the hearing in question and that he would come some other time.
DAVID GREGORY: You're willing to appear?Non-partisan way you're probably wondering eh? Well, from Issa's track record on launching investigations on the Fast & Furious, Benghazi, IRS, etc., he certainly doesn't know what the meaning of "non-partisan" is.
THOMAS PICKERING: Of course. I've said, the day before the hearings I was willing to appear to the very hearings he disclud...excluded me from. The White House...
DARRELL ISSA: Woah, woah, woah!
THOMAS PICKERING: ...Told me back that he said.
DARRELL ISSA: Please don't tell me I excluded you.
THOMAS PICKERING: Well, the majority was... We were told that the majority said I was not welcome at that hearing, I could come at some other time.
DARRELL ISSA: Well, as the Ambassador just said, the day before the hearing, if the White House said we'd like to have him, there's a procedure. He could have been the Democratic witness and we would have allowed him. The Democrats requested no witness. The fact is, we don't want to have some sort of a stage show. We had fact witnesses, they testify. We have the ambassador and Admiral Mullen, who conducted and oversaw the arabi. We’re inviting them on Monday. We’ll go through be…not in front of the public but, but in a non-partisan way, questions and answers, and then a hearing obviously, a hearing to follow in an appropriate time. I’m delighted to have a long-serving career diplomat willing to come before us. I don’t think it was his decision to say no but we were told no until just before the hearing.
Now going back to the issue of the Healthcare.gov investigation, ever since Issa has continued to be criticized by Democrats for how he's handled it, he remains firm on his convictions. Just look at his Twitter feed:
Yeah, REALLY interested in going after the facts, is he?
Oh this Issa man. Just like the Energizer Bunny, he just keeps going, and going, and going.
Darrell Issa's Democratic challenger is Dave Peiser and here are the necessary links:
For more information on Peiser and voter registration statistics numbers of CA-49, links are below:
Dave Peiser for Congress: http://www.peiserforcongress.com/Here's the voter registration as of February 2013 by the actual CA-49 Congressional District, which combines parts of San Diego and Orange County. Note the number of Decline-to-State/Independents:
Orange County:Here's the recent polling per PPP showing Darrell Issa vulnerable thanks to the government shutdown:
San Diego County:
Start firing up the base in CA-49!