March 04,2003

Baucus Comments on Resignation of Inspector General Janet Rehnquist

Ms. Rehnquist's decision to resign was right under the circumstances. It iscritically important that we have a strong and effective Inspector General at theDepartment of Health and Human Services (HHS) and that the IG can be trusted by ournation's taxpayers to be fair, nonpartisan, and a tough force against fraud and abuse. TheInspector General's office plays a critical role in ensuring the integrity of Medicare andMedicaid, and it oversees programs making up almost 25 percent of the entire federalbudget.

Over the last few months, I have grown increasingly concerned by Ms.Rehnquist's actions. I do not believe that she was the right person for the job at this time.At all times, I have worked closely with Chairman Grassley to explore these concerns.Today's decision proves that the checks and balances of government are working.Now that Ms. Rehnquist has made the decision to step down from her post as IG,I am committed to working together with Chairman Grassley to quickly and thoroughlyconfirm her successor and restore the faith of the American public in the position of HHSInspector General.