McCaskill Votes to Support President Trump’s Nominees to Head Key Federal Agency

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last week approved President Trump’s nominees to lead the Office of Personnel Management. McCaskill—who serves as the top-ranking Democrat on the Committee—voted to support both nominees, Dr. Jeff Tien Han Pon and Michael Rigas.

“The Office of Personnel Management plays a key role in managing day-to-day government operations, processing security clearances, and ensuring that Missourians’ taxpayer dollars are used as efficiently as possible,” McCaskill said. “It’s critical that the agency has permanent leadership, and I look forward to working with Dr. Pon and Mr. Rigas once they’re confirmed by the full Senate.”

The Office of Personnel Management serves as the chief human resources agency and personnel policy manager for the federal government. Now that the Committee has approved Dr. Pon and Mr. Rigas, their nominations await a vote in the full Senate.

In her role leading the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, McCaskill has conducted extensive oversight over the Office of Personnel Management. Last year, McCaskill joined Republican Committee Chairman Ron Johnson of Wisconsin to call for answers from the agency on the security clearance process for National Security Agency contractor Reality Winner, who is accused of leaking classified information about attempted Russian hacking of U.S. voting software. In 2016, McCaskill called on the Obama Administration to put in place stronger oversight to protect more than $1 billion in government contracts following a report from the Office of Personnel Management’s Inspector General that found serious weaknesses in internal controls that made the contracts susceptible to waste, fraud, and abuse. Following the Office of Personnel Management data breach in 2015, which compromised the personal information of at least 21.5 million individuals, McCaskill and a group of bipartisan Senators introduced language that was signed into law to help protect federal civilian networks from cyberattacks.