Neal Statement on GAO Unemployment Insurance Report

Jan 23, 2023
Press Release

SPRINGFIELD, MA—Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard E. Neal (D-MA) released the following statement on a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on federal pandemic unemployment insurance:

“When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, our state unemployment insurance programs were not ready for the stress they would soon be under. But in the face of unthinkable tragedy, you act with the tools available to you, and you do what’s best for the American people. Both Democrats and Republicans came together to create the lifeline that was the Federal Pandemic Unemployment compensation program. The evidence has been clear: this program kept families housed, prevented a recession, and ultimately fueled the back-to-back years of record-breaking job growth under President Biden.

“Bad actors were able to capitalize under the prior administration, after it failed to implement GAO’s antifraud recommendations from July 2015. Thanks to funding secured by Ways and Means Committee Democrats, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Inspector General has been able to conduct thousands of investigations, and the Biden Administration continues to use this support to prosecute criminal rings, recover taxpayer dollars, and work with states to ensure earned UI benefits are going to the rightful recipient.

“If Republicans were serious about fighting fraud, they wouldn’t have voted against our critical investment.”

The Ways and Means Committee allocated $2 billion in the American Rescue Plan for the Department of Labor to fight fraud and address longstanding challenges in unemployment insurance systems.