Napolitano Facing Republican Calls for Her Ouster

Obama's security chief sparks fury by warning of 'right-wing' extremism in U.S.

ByABC News
April 23, 2009, 3:04 PM

April 23, 2009 -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is facing calls for her ouster from a handful of House Republicans in the wake of a department memo that warned of right-wing political extremism in the United States.

"To me, it looks like the extremists are those running the DHS," said Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn. "An official document of the DHS lists right-wing extremists as 'groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration,' and includes those 'rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority.' So, apparently, according to Homeland Security Department, the American ideal of federalism is a threat to American ideals."

Bachmann and Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., joined Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, the No. 6 Republican in the House leadership, on the House floor Wednesday evening to demand that Napolitano either resign or be fired by President Obama.

House Republican leadership aides expect Napolitano to survive calls for her ouster. But at the same time, they are happy to see criticism of Napolitano continue as Obama approaches the 100-day mark of his presidency.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters Thursday morning that he is sure the subject of the former Arizona governor will come up at the White House Thursday afternoon when Obama meets with congressional leaders of both parties.

"I think Secretary Napolitano has an awful lot of explaining to do," said Boehner. "When you look at this report on right-wing extremism, it includes ... about two- thirds of Americans, who, you know, who might go to church, who may have served in the military, who may be involved in community activities.

"It's bizarre," he added.

"I and my colleagues are trying to understand who wrote this report, why wasn't it edited or-- I just don't understand how our government can look at the American people and say, "You're all potential terrorist threats,'" said Boehner.

UPDATE: Despite Boehner's initial confidence that Napolitano would come up during Thursday's meeting with the president, Boehner spokeswoman Antonia Ferrier told ABC News after it concluded that the topic of the "right-wing" extremism report was not broached during a conversation which was "consumed" by other topics