We applaud this bipartisan effort by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden and Ranking Member Mike Crapo on fraud prevention and technology modernization in the unemployment system that aligns with several specific elements from President Biden’s anti-fraud proposal. Emergency unemployment benefits were a critical lifeline for millions of workers who lost jobs through no fault of their own during the pandemic. But the implementation in 2020 exposed the need for stronger fraud prevention systems and greater investment in technology to modernize unemployment systems.
The bipartisan framework released today comprises several specific provisions from the President’s anti-fraud proposal, including extending the statute of limitations for pandemic UI fraud to 10 years, giving prosecutors the time needed to investigate and prosecute complex criminal syndicates, and requiring checks against existing government datasets that will prevent fraudulent unemployment insurance payments to ineligible recipients, including deceased individuals and prisoners. The President looks forward to further action from Congress on additional components of his plan to prevent fraud, punish systemic fraud, and recover funds, while ensuring equitable access for legitimate claimants. This includes expanded strike forces and resources for Inspectors General to prosecute and recover funds from criminal syndicates, investments in the analytical tools, safeguards, and data-sharing to prevent future fraud, and resources to safeguard Americans from identity theft and help victims recover.