With unemployment fraud leaving taxpayers on the hook for $163 billion (and counting), and only a little over $4 billion recovered, House Republican leaders introduced a new bill last week to pave the way to fight fraud and gain restitution for taxpayers.
The “Chase COVID Unemployment Fraud Act of 2022” (H.R. 8000) would jumpstart efforts to claw back federal funds and pursue recovery of fraudulent payments by ensuring aggressive identification, investigation, and prosecution of criminal fraud in pandemic unemployment programs.
Criminal organizations, including international cybercrime rings and opportunistic foreign actors, exploited a national crisis to steal billions from taxpayers. Yet, House Democrats have ignored repeated calls for oversight hearings and continue to turn a blind eye to what is possibly the greatest theft of taxpayer dollars in American history.
Coalition groups and individuals from across the country agree. Here’s what they are saying about this new bill that will pave the way to fight fraud:
Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:
“The federal government has spent over $5 trillion on COVID relief, and the American people deserve to know that money went where it was supposed to. The Chase COVID Unemployment Fraud Act would give states the tools and incentives to recover fraudulent unemployment payments.
“There are of course always going to be overpayments in an emergency effort this large, but we owe it to the taxpayers to keep them to a minimum. This bill could help recover billions of dollars in improper payments, and I encourage lawmakers to give it the serious consideration it deserves.”
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste:
"After providing more than $4.6 trillion over two years in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is long past time for the federal government to do everything in its power to recover as much as possible out of the hundreds of billions of dollars that were stolen from taxpayers.
“The Chase COVID Unemployment Fraud Act provides the tools necessary to make this effort more successful, and the bill should be supported by every member of Congress who truly cares about the outrageous waste, fraud, and abuse of this money.”
National Association of State Workforce Agencies:
“NASWA is supportive of the following provisions in H.R. 8000 that align with our 2022 Legislative Priorities: retaining 5 percent of any state unemployment overpayments recovered for use in improving administration and program integrity, incentivizing states to recover fraudulent unemployment payments, and allowing merit-staffing flexibility.”
National Foundation for Unemployment Compensation and Workers’ Compensation:
“We support the proposal to permit states to address fraud and identity theft, and to effectively recover fraudulently claimed unemployment compensation. The proposal would incentivize states to improve recovery efforts without increasing federal spending.”
Chase COVID Unemployment Fraud Act of 2022 (H.R. 800)