Early in January, America was shocked to learn Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was hospitalized for cancer treatment without anybody, including President Biden, knowing. Sec. Austin apologized in a recent press conference, yet Representatives Mike Waltz (R-FL) and Chris Deluzio (D-PA) agreed he should resign in a recent appearance on Special Report with Bret Baier's "Common Ground" segment.
Sec. Austin said he mistakenly believed telling President Biden would only add another headache for him, although he takes "full responsibility" for the affair. CNBC reported that Austin has not considered resigning despite the incident.
Rep. Deluzio called for his resignation on January 10th, which he still stands by.
"I think General Austin is a guy who really has offered a lot of service to failure here was a clear one. You cannot ever have the Pentagon leave the Commander in Chief in the dark, and I think that failure has to lay with the Secretary," said Rep. Deluzio.
Rep. Waltz's response was harsher, saying Austin should have resigned after the botched Afghanistan withdrawal of 2021, for which he said "there has still been no accountability."
"This is not about one person's privacy when you are in this kind of chain of command," Rep. Waltz added, pointing out that Austin was in the hospital while American troops were under attack in the Middle East.
Moreover, Waltz said he would ask the following question in a forthcoming hearing:
"Will he hold himself to the same standard that he would hold any commander in the military that he oversees, they did not tell their supervisor, and they did not tell their deputy, much less the Secretary of Defense, sitting in the succession of command?"
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was the first to call for a hearing when the scandal first broke, saying, "The DoD’s failure to inform the White House, Congress, and the American People of Secretary Austin’s incapacitation reflects the lack of leadership, competency, and transparency throughout the entire Biden administration."
Similarly, Representative Aaron Bean (R-FL) introduced the Cabinet Accountability and Transparency Act, which would require Cabinet members to inform Congress of any absences within 24 hours.