This has not been an easy month for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas — who learned the political ropes working for Sebelius' father-in-law, then a Kansas congressman — called for her to step down over the debut of HealthCare.gov, the problem-plagued website where people are supposed to apply for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
As we just heard, Republican Party approval ratings are lower than ever, but that's not stopping Texas Senator Ted Cruz from taking a post-shutdown victory lap in Iowa tonight. Cruz is headlining the state Republican Party's annual Reagan dinner and he's often talked about as a potential presidential candidate. Iowa, of course, holds the first presidential caucus. NPR's Tamara Keith is in Des Moines to hear the speech and she joins us now. Hey there, Tamara.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. We're going to focus now on the aftermath of the government shutdown and the fight over the debt ceiling. The past few weeks have been tough on Republicans. The fight failed to defund or delay the health care law, as they'd hoped. And it drove public approval of the GOP to historic lows. But is that enough to keep some in the party from attempting another shutdown in the months ahead? NPR's S.V. Date reports.
Last week's death of Florida Republican Bill Young left a seat open in the House of Representatives. Young represented a closely divided district. The election to replace him will be the first one in a swing district since the government shutdown and debt ceiling battles earlier this month. Congressman Young was buried yesterday.
The governor has not yet picked a date for the election to replace him, but the race is expected to be expensive, and recent events in Washington are likely to fuel the debate. NPR's Don Gonyea reports.
And now to our Friday political commentators E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and David Brooks of The New York Times. Welcome back to you both.
DAVID BROOKS: Good to be here.
E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.
BLOCK: So this week, Angela Merkel apparently joining the list of world leaders whose cell phones have been monitored by the NSA. And it was enough to draw in a cry of enough is enough from the French European Commissioner Michel Barnier, talking to the BBC.
Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 2:37 pm
A subcontractor that built a portion of the HealthCare.gov website that's now working relatively well is being promoted to oversee a thorough revamping of the entire glitch-prone portal, and work will be done by the end of next month, the White House says.