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Democrats go to war for Obamacare; demand Issa withdraw subpoena

** FILE ** President Obama points to a member of the audience at a meeting in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, May 14, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)** FILE ** President Obama points to a member of the audience at a meeting in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, May 14, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
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Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are calling on Chairman Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, to withdraw a subpoena he issued to compel U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park to testify at a Wednesday hearing before the committee on the rollout of President Obama's health care overhaul.

"The evidence before our committee demonstrates that Mr. Park is an honest and exemplary public servant, and your unsubstantiated public attacks against his integrity are a deficient basis on which to justify a subpoena against him," wrote Democratic Reps. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland and Gerald E. Connolly of Virginia. "Rather than denigrate Mr. Park's reputation and impede his time-sensitive work, we request that the committee accept his reasonable offer to testify before the committee in December."

Mr. Cummings is the committee's ranking member, and Mr. Connolly is the ranking member of the subcommittee on government operations.

Mr. Cummings says a transcribed interview with Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS), contradicts Mr. Issa's assertions that Mr. Park misled the American people about the number of users that were anticipated for the troubled Healthcare.gov website used for Obamacare.

Mr. Cummings said Mr. Issa's office put out press statements that refer to testing on a small sample size of expected users, even though Mr. Chao told committee staff on Nov. 1 that the site's capacity was around 48,000 to 58,000 users.

Mr. Issa's office has stood by its earlier claims, saying the administration's stress tests showed that 1,100 users marked a breaking point for the system.

"While Ranking Member Cummings holds out Mr. Chao's testimony that the system was 'designed to handle 50,000 concurrent users,' he omits Chao's reply when asked how many it could actually handle on October 1," a committee spokeswoman said.

According to Mr. Issa's office, Mr. Chao said: "Maybe 8,000? Somewhere under 10,000. I don't have the exact metrics, but I know that it wasn't 30,000 registrations per hour."

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