OPM Director Katherine Archuleta is sworn in on Capitol Hill June 24 to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

OPM Director Katherine Archuleta is sworn in on Capitol Hill June 24 to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Susan Walsh/Associated Press

These Politicians Want Archuleta Fired

There’s frustration on both sides of the aisle over the OPM director’s handling of recent data breaches.

Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta has been under fire ever since OPM announced earlier this month that 4.2 million current and former federal employees’ personal data had been exposed to hackers. The agency has released few details about the breach, which it announced June 4, weeks after discovering the intrusion in April.

Since announcing the initial breach -- orchestrated by Chinese hackers, officials have said -- OPM has acknowledged a second breach involving security clearance data. While investigators are still trying to determine the scope of the second breach, Archuleta said Wednesday during a contentious hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee she was not comfortable with a CNN report that estimated as many as 18 million individuals had been affected by the breaches, according to a report in National Journal.

Federal employees, union leaders and lawmakers from both parties have expressed growing frustration with Archuleta’s handling of the breach and her inability to put the correct security measures in place prior to the incidents. 

Here’s a list of those calling for Archuleta to step down or be fired:  

Republican presidential contender and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said in a radio interview with Bill Bennett’s Morning in America program June 23 that Archuleta should be fired: “And just as has been the case across the board when we have this sheer incompetence or scandalous behavior, there's no accountability. No one ever seems—no one seems to be fired. If I was president of the United States, that person would be fired."

On June 23, after attending a classified briefing with Archuleta, Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., issued a statement calling for her to step down. The OPM director, he said, "has refused to take accountability for this great failure – in turn failing the American people, whom she swore an oath to protect and defend."

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said OPM leaders need to resign at a hearing June 17: "If we want a different result, we're gonna have to have different people."

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., who holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Stanford University, says there’s a “high level of technological incompetence across federal agencies,” National Journal reported June 16: "I'm looking here today for a few good people to step forward, take responsibility, and resign for the good of the nation."

According to a June 18 report by Federal News Radio, Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., said, “I have seen no evidence Ms. Archuleta understands this central principle of cyber governance, and I am deeply concerned by her refusal to acknowledge her culpability in the breach. I therefore believe that Ms. Archuleta should tender her resignation immediately.”

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., issued a press release June 17 calling for heads to roll at OPM: “It is outrageous that after the biggest data breach in our nation’s history, OPM has yet to fire a single individual. It is time that Director Archuleta step down and be replaced with someone prepared to immediately address cybersecurity vulnerabilities at the agency.”

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