Gruber 'Embarrassed and Sorry,' But Not Willing to Show Committee the Money
A firestorm of outrage was sparked.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said Gruber’s refusal to tell the committee how much he was paid was much more serious than a “PR gift with a bow on top.”
“Mr. Gruber testified before Congress and didn’t disclose he was being paid by the Obama administration,” said Jordan. “That is deception at its highest form. The American taxpayer would like to know.”
Gruber said he had submitted documents to the committee that showed what he earned from all federal contracts for the past two fiscal years.
Jordan said that wasn’t good enough. He demanded statements of income Gruber had received from all federal and state agencies for which he had performed work so that taxpayers could see the total “of how much were you paid by taxpayers to turn around and make fun of them.”
The Washington Post reported Nov. 14 Gruber consulted with at least eight states — Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin — to help them put together the health-insurance exchanges that are essential to the ACA.
The Republican fires of outrage burned even hotter about 30 minutes after the income questions started flying when the committee learned Gruber had served on the advisory board of the Congressional Budget Office, perhaps while he was being paid by the Obama administration.
Gruber said he did not remember attending any CBO meetings during that time, wasn’t sure of the date he started or the date he stopped serving on the board, but he did have “communications” with the CBO.
He also said he did not remember how many times he visited the White House as an adviser for the Obama administration.
That earned a laugh from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who said he couldn’t believe someone would have trouble remembering how many times they had been in the White House.
Chaffetz demanded information from Gruber on all the work he performed for the White House and the Congressional Budget Office.
“Committee can take this up with my counsel,” said Gruber.
“What are you hiding?” said Chaffetz. “Why will you not give us those documents? Who paid for them?”
“I am not sure,” said Gruber. “The committee can take it up with my counsel.”
Issa said he couldn’t imagine an economist would have so much trouble recalling numbers and warned Gruber of the possibility of a subpoena for the records, adding that another committee hearing had become a probability.
“I am done with you,” said Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.). “I didn’t think this could possibly get worse, but it has.”
Gruber repeatedly told the committee that he never lied about Obamacare, but he did “conjecture” about things “while playing an amateur politician.”
Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) told Gruber he should no longer describe himself as an economics professor.
“You have progressed in your ability to be political to the point of being entirely political.”