HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius awaits punishment over Hatch Act violation

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' violation of the Hatch Act has elicited strong reactions, with many calling for her job.

Although Sebelius deemed her violation "technical and minor," most Hatch Act violators are fired for breaking the federal law that prohibits certain political activity by government employees, according to The Daily Caller.

The Catholic Association said Sebelius should lose her job, noting that most of her actions have promoted President Barack Obama's political interests, Fox News reported.

Obama ultimately will decide the fate of the HHS secretary, although punishment seems unlikely.

The administration pointed out it already handled the matter, ensuring Sebelius meet with ethics experts and reimburse taxpayers, Fox News noted. 

However, such retribution isn't enough for some. "The President has ... decided to overlook the improper political activities of his appointees when in their official capacities," Dan Epstein, president of the watchdog group Cause of Action, told The Daily Caller. "He has effectively said it is okay to politicize the executive branch."

Meanwhile, Sebelius said she should not be punished for her "off-hand" political statements and that any action taken would be inappropriate, according to her response.

Cabinet officials have busy schedules, making it hard to separate their political and official roles, according to University of Minnesota law professor Richard Painter, Businessweek reported.

For more:
- read the Daily Caller article
- here's the Fox News article
- check out the Businessweek article
- read Sebelius' response (.pdf)