More lawmakers are calling for the Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta to step down over widely reported data breaches that exposed the personal information of millions of federal employees.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told the Washington Post after a June 16 hearing that Archuleta and OPM CIO Donna Seymour had a chance to fix the cybersecurity issues before the hack.
"They did not get it done, and there should be consequences," Chaffetz said. "If we want a different results, we're going to have to have different people," he said.
The first widely reported hack took place in December, but was only detected in April when OPM upgraded its cybersecurity tools. A second hack breached the background investigation data gathered on federal employees and others seeking national security clearances.
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., said at the June 16 hearing that so far OPM has not apologized for the initial hack or the more recent discovery of a hack that took background check information.
He said there was a culture problem at OPM and that in order to send a signal that the status quo is not acceptable the agency leadership needs to resign and be replaced by more competent personnel.
"So I am looking here today for a few good people to step forward, accept responsibility and resign for the good of the nation," Lieu said.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said in a statement OPM was completely unprepared to thwart a cybersecurity attack despite its massive databases containing the personal information of federal employees.
He said after the biggest data breach in America's history OPM has yet to file a single individual and that federal employees have paid the price for Archuleta's disregard of the issue.
Meadows said the repercussions of the hacks will last for years, if not decades, and hurt American intelligence and military efforts.
"Consider the likelihood that intelligence and military officials will be blackmailed, bribed, and intimidated with the incredibly personal information they have entrusted to the U.S. government. Individuals with Top Secret (TS/SCI) security clearances are required to provide information on arrest records, lawsuits, drug or alcohol problems, divorces, bankruptcies and more – much of which may have been compromise," Meadows said.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said congress needs to consider all the options for building up physical and human capital security at OPM.
"We also need to look at ways to bring in leaders who are stronger on cybersecurity. This absolutely needs to happen in order to keep the data of Americans safe from foreign adversaries," Johnson said.
Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., didn't specifically call for Archuleta's resignation, but said, "Maybe it is time for her to look for other employment."
Some members of Congress pushed back against calls for Archuleta's resignation.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee said in a statement to "remember who the bad guys are" and that they are not federal workers are American companies trying to keep data safe.
"The bad guys are the foreign nations and other entities behind these devastating attacks who are targeting the sensitive personal information of millions of Americans. They are attacking our government, our economy, our financial sector, our healthcare system, and virtually every aspect of our lives," Cummings said.