Top three House Republicans want OPM head fired

Top three House Republicans want OPM head fired
© Greg Nash

The top three House Republicans on Thursday called for the firing of the agency head at the center of what’s believed to be the largest government data breach of all time.

Moments after the Office of Personnel Management revealed that the personal information of 22.1 million people had been exposed by two separate hacks at the agency, three GOP leaders called for agency chief Katherine Archuleta to resign.

“President Obama must take a strong stand against incompetence in his administration and instill new leadership at OPM so we can move forward in a fashion that begins to restore the confidence of the American people,” Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerJim Jordan as Speaker is change America needs to move forward Paul Ryan’s political purgatory Republicans fear retribution for joining immigration revolt MORE (R-Ohio) said in a statement.

Reps. Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyJim Jordan as Speaker is change America needs to move forward The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Tensions mount for House Republicans Paul Ryan’s political purgatory MORE (R-Calif.) and Steve Scalise (R-La.) released coordinated statements also calling for Archuleta's head.

In recent weeks, a growing chorus of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle has called for Archuleta’s firing, arguing she repeatedly ignored the warnings of her inspector general, who raised numerous red flags about the OPM’s security weaknesses.

McCarthy, the No. 2 House Republican, said the data breach not only threatened national security but also revealed questions about the fitness of OPM leaders to handle such a crisis.

"Public trust in how our government is run is already low, and any resolution to this massive data breach and theft can only happen with new leadership at the OPM immediately," McCarthy said in his statement. "Only with new leadership can we get a full accounting of what happened and, most importantly, how to prevent this from ever happening again.”

Scalise also called for new leadership at the agency, saying the Obama administration's handling of the breach "is nothing short of breathtaking in its inadequacy."

"Considering this gross incompetence, the American people deserve accountability," Scalise said. "So I am calling on President Obama to fire the OPM director and take immediate action to protect the information of all those Americans who have been placed at risk."