Criminal organizations, including international cybercrime rings and opportunistic foreign actors, exploited a national crisis to steal billions from taxpayers.
Now, faced with billions of dollars lost to unchecked unemployment fraud involving organized cybercrime, foreign actors and international crime rings, Democrats have ignored repeated calls for congressional oversight hearings.
Democrats are willfully ignoring the waste of American tax dollars.
- The Biden Administration and congressional Democrats still do not know how many tax dollars have been stolen or improperly paid through unemployment insurance fraud and have failed to take action, despite warnings from federal law enforcement agencies.
- In February 2022, the White House estimated that 19 percent of total COVID unemployment insurance payments were lost to fraud – offering a low estimate of over $80 billion. By contrast, the Department of Labor’s estimate puts that number much higher. Outside experts say the number could be as high as $400 billion.
Republicans are fighting against unchecked unemployment fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars.
- Ways and Means Republicans offered a “resolution of inquiry” (ROI) to force top Administration officials to respond with specific factual information.
- Worker and Family Support Acting Republican Leader Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) introduced a resolution demanding communications showing the Department of Labor’s knowledge of UI dollars flowing to international crime syndicates, which Democrats rejected.
- In June 2022, Republican Leaders introduced the Chase COVID Unemployment Fraud Act of 2022 (H.R. 8000) to gain restitution for taxpayers by going after criminal actors and recovering billions lost to fraud.
Timeline of Unemployment Insurance
- November 2020: Blog publication: “The Way Forward on Unemployment: Stop Criminals from Diverting Billions Away from Unemployed American Workers – House Democrats ignore fraud in pandemic unemployment program.”
- December 2020: W&M Republicans pass the bipartisan Consolidated Appropriations Act and worked hard to include improvements to the pandemic unemployment assistance program, by requiring documentation of prior employment and earnings within 21 days of application and included a phase-out period.
- February 2021: Wenstrup/Stivers led a group of 37 House members asking the Biden Administration to provide relief to taxpayers who were victims of unemployment insurance fraud.
- March 11, 2021: The issue is noticed during our mark-up of the American Rescue Plan by having Reps. Nunes, Wenstrup and Hern, introduce amendments that would have prevented fraud in the pandemic unemployment program.
- March 15, 2021: A letter is sent to Chairman Neal requesting an oversight hearing. As of the date of this memo no response has been received.
- May 10, 2021: Introduce Combatting COVID Unemployment Fraud Act (H.R. 3268) and Senate counterpart (S. 1699) Republican Meeting: “$60 Billion and Counting: Consequences of Unchecked Pandemic Unemployment Fraud.”
- August 2021: Brady, Crapo, Walorski Request GAO to Investigate Fraudulent Activity in COVID Unemployment Insurance Programs
- February 4, 2022: Blog Publication: “Taxpayers Are Finding Out They’re Victims of Fraud Democrats Ignored.”
- February 18, 2022: Letter to DOL and DOL-OIG: Biden Admin Is Stopping States from Recovering Fraudulent Payments
- February 22, 2022: Republican Meeting: “Pandemic Unemployment Fraud: $80 Billion and Counting (Part II)” and a second letter is sent to Chairman Neal requesting an oversight hearing and still no response.
- May 2022: Letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland: Republican Leaders Demand Answers on Billions of Taxpayer Dollars Stolen Due to COVID-Era Fraud
- June 2022: Introduce Chase COVID Unemployment Fraud Act (H.R. 8000) and Senate counterpart (S. 4507)
About Resolutions of Inquiry:
A Resolution of Inquiry (ROI) is a direct request or demand of the President or the head of an executive department to furnish the House with specific factual information in the Administration’s possession. ROIs become privileged on the floor if not reported to the House within 14 legislative days after filing.
Democrats effectively turned off the ability to use an ROI via a pandemic-related rule passed in the last Congress. That rule was continually extended until late July of this year when the majority finally turned on the ROI tool.
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