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Local congressman reacts to Sebelius resignation

PHOENIX — A U.S. congressman who represents the East Valley employed a wave of candor when discussing the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Thursday.

Rep. Matt Salmon, a Republican of Arizona’s 5th District — Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert and Queen Creek — is no less surprised than he is pleased to see Sebelius’ resignation, saying it was “none too soon.”

“She’s presided over one of the most horrendous failures in public policy,” Salmon told KTAR.

“The rollout of Obamacare was atrocious. Under her watch, they wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on folks that designed a very faulty website. It’s still having glitches this very day and moment.”

Salmon’s take echoes the repeatedly stated sentiment sounding from the right side of the aisle in Washington. Sebelius, Salmon would say, happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time as the HHS secretary during the materialization of the Affordable Care Act.

“While you can’t focus all of your attention on Kathleen Sebelius — she didn’t pass the law — she presided over the implementation and it’s been a horrendous failure,” he said.

But it isn’t just Sebelius who is getting the flak from Salmon’s party.

“The president, as he is fond of doing, is always looking for some scapegoat and somebody else to blame for the mistakes of his administration,” he went on.

“The problem is — and I think most Americans realize this — is this was his law. He pushed it and the promises he made have not been kept.”

Sebelius’ resignation could set the stage for a contentious election-year confirmation hearing for whomever Obama nominates to replace her. Sebelius has served as HHS secretary since the start of the Obama administration.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.