Op-Eds

Nov 25, 2015

Demanding transparency from the ‘most transparent administration in history’

President Obama famously pledged on the 2008 campaign trail to have the "most transparent administration in history." Seven years in, that commitment has led to little more than flowery language on whitehouse.gov. The Obama administration has an abysmal record on openness to the press and the American people. Nowhere is it worse than the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS currently boasts the largest backlog of any federal agency and, since the ...

Oct 21, 2015

Agenda should fix problems, prioritize Americans

Over the past month many of you have heard about the circus in Washington. I am just as frustrated as you that some folks in D.C. are more focused on inside the beltway politics rather than doing what is best for the American people. But this is my promise to you: No matter who is in leadership in the House, I will remain focused on my job – representing the people in the 23rd Congressional ...

Oct 22, 2015

It’s time for legislators to work together for cybersecurity

The Internet has caused society to evolve. It has changed how we learn, communicate, and buy and sell goods. With emerging industries that are now offering connected cars, smart homes, cloud storage and artificial intelligence, we are changing the basics of how we live our daily lives and structure our society. As members of Congress in the digital age, it is essential that we understand technology issues and prioritize cybersecurity, both in the public and private sector.  In a world where ...

Sep 30, 2015

The breach we could have avoided

The worst data breach in American history compromised the sensitive, personally identifiable information of 21.5 million Americans. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) attack was the result of negligence, inadequate cybersecurity measures, mismanagement of IT budgets over decades, poor data management and incompetent leadership that, unfortunately, remain in place today. The significance of the breach cannot be overstated. Social Security numbers and health, financial, employment and ...

Sep 8, 2015

EPA’s toxic environment: Sexual harassment running rampant

A young, female research fellow at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inappropriately hugged, touched, grabbed and even kissed by a male EPA employee almost three times her age. Assaulted on a near daily basis with lewd and suggestive verbal comments, she dreads going to the office each day. Another 21-year old female intern reports being sexually harassed by an EPA official who has victimized at least sixteen other women throughout his 31-year career. Listening to these stories, ...

Jul 12, 2015

Pull the plug on the Ex-Im Bank: Opposing view

"I'm not a Democrat who believes that we can or should defend every government program, just because it's there. Like … the Export-Import Bank that's become little more than a fund for corporate welfare." These are 

Jul 25, 2015

Cleaning Up the Federal Cyber Debacle

America’s digital infrastructure is under constant attack. I know this not only from reading the news, but also from spending nine years as an undercover CIA officer and four years as a senior adviser with FusionX, the cybersecurity firm where I worked before being elected to Congress. The U.S.’s adversaries are constantly trying to steal its private-sector innovations and military and intelligence secrets. The recent theft of millions of federal-employee personnel records from the Office ...

Jun 21, 2015

Make no mistake: Mexico is in crisis

The most violent, brutal, and lawless place on the planet right now may not actually be half a world away in the Middle East, but right next door in Mexico. Since Mexico’s drug war began to escalate in 2006, more than 100,000 Mexican residents have been murdered or gone missing according to the State Department’s Overseas Security Advisory Council. Kidnapping, human trafficking, and the brutal dismemberment and display of murder victims is far too commonplace. These incidents are taking ...

Apr 28, 2015

Federal Rules Support Incompetence

Just what does a federal employee have to do to get fired? At the Environmental Protection Agency, a federal employee who does no work is paid a full salary plus a performance award. This despite having no building pass, no computer connected to the EPA network and no evidence of having completed any work in at least five years. In addition to being paid roughly $600,000 by the American taxpayers during this time period, this employee was allowed to retire with a full pension. In Phoenix, 40 ...

Apr 27, 2015

We need to address ‘deep, systemic problems’ to improve federal workforce morale

The U.S. federal workforce is the greatest public workforce in the world. Oftentimes, federal workers are unfairly viewed as just another cog in the wheel, when in reality our workforce is comprised of thousands of individuals committed to making a difference in the lives of their fellow Americans. From the history buff at the National Archives and Records Administration seeking to preserve historic documents for generations to come to the security expert at the Department of Homeland Security ...