Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Democrats face bleak outlook in Florida The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems attempt to tie government funding, Ida relief to debt limit MORE (R-Fla.) on Thursday called on the Obama administration to “immediately” release all information about the massive government hack that has laid bare millions of people’s data.
“All details that can be shared with the public, and especially those affected, should be released immediately to halt the slow, trickle of bad news that keeps coming from this attack,” the GOP presidential hopeful said in a statement.
Government officials initially indicated that the data breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) had exposed roughly 4.2 million current and former executive branch workers’ data.
But lawmakers have repeatedly said they expect that number to grow dramatically, to perhaps as many as 14 million people.
Congressional staffers and military personnel are also affected, partly due to a second breach revealed last week that compromised security clearance information. Government contractors and friends and family named in government employee files are also believed to be at risk.
But officials have declined to give approximations of exactly who is affected and how many people the breach encompasses, frustrating many on Capitol Hill.
“Someone at OPM or within the Administration should be held responsible for this breach,” Rubio said, echoing more specific lawmaker calls for OPM Director Katherine Archuleta to step down following a poorly received performance at a hearing Tuesday.
Rubio also joined his fellow Republican presidential candidates in using the breach to bash President Obama’s handling of China, which is widely suspected of being behind the digital attack.
“With its growing regional expansionism and illegitimate territorial claims in the South China Sea, its rapid military buildup in defense capabilities, its provocative activities in space and its 24-7 offensive cyberattacks against the U.S. government and private sector, it’s clear the past six and a half years of the Obama foreign policy have sent the wrong message to Beijing,” Rubio said.
Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump pushes back on book claims, says he spent 'virtually no time' discussing election with Lee, Graham The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden meets with lawmakers amid domestic agenda panic MORE (R-S.C.), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Hewlett-Packard executive Carly Fiorina, who are also vying for the Republican presidential nomination, all criticized President Obama shortly after the cyberattack was initially revealed in early June.
They argued that Obama’s failure to employ a strong hand with the Asian power had empowered the country in its digital espionage campaign.
Rubio agreed: “We need to make sure our country has the strongest possible defenses in places to protect government data and repel efforts like these."
On the Democratic side, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is the only 2016 hopeful to make a campaign issue out of the OPM breach, arguing for more cybersecurity funding at the state and federal level.