The Buzz

October 11, 2013

Pat Roberts calls on Sebelius to resign

The Kansas GOP senator, who once cited his “special relationship” with the former governor, now wants her to leave the top post at HHS.

The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

Less than a week after GOP primary opponent Milton Wolf criticized Sen. Pat Roberts for his support of HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius

, Roberts has called on her to resign.

“In the absence of a full repeal of Obamacare, which is my preference, we need new leadership from top to bottom,”

his statement said

. “I am calling on the Secretary to resign.”

The Roberts statement criticized problems with the new health care exchanges, which have struggled in the first two weeks.

But it may also reflect political pressure from Roberts’ right.

Roberts began working for Rep.

Keith Sebelius in 1969, and succeeded him as the KS-01 congressman. Gary Sebelius

, Keith’s son, is Kathleen’s husband.

Roberts and Sebelius have known each other for decades. Roberts introduced Sebelius at her Senate confirmation hearing and voted for her nomination.

Here’s part of what he said then:

“I have known Kathleen and her husband, Gary, throughout the years. Gary is now a judge. We have enjoyed a very special relationship. I remember well when Gary was a student at Kansas State University, and I was the administrative assistant to his father...

“Gov. Sebelius, I look forward to building on that relationship as we work toward improving our nation’s healthcare system.”

Friday, he asked for her to quit.

Last Tuesday, Wolf explicitly criticized Roberts for supporting Sebelius.

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