Critics are accusing the White House of considering reviving a program that was criticized for its improper payments during the pandemic. According to a report released by the Department of Labor, over a third of the benefits given out under the pandemic unemployment program were inappropriate. The program, which was known as the PUA, had over $100 billion in payments.
According to critics, this report shows how the program has been mismanaged and abused. Matt Weidinger of the AIE noted that the report and Biden's budget proposal indicate that the administration wants to bring back the program.
According to Weidinger, the budget proposal would restore the eligibility for unemployment insurance to reflect the labor force and improve benefit levels. Even though the terms used are different, this is essentially identical to the PUA.
The White House, however, maintains that the program is not in the plans to be revived. According to Michael Kikukawa, the president's budget proposal does not include the revival of the PUA. He noted that the budget also proposes measures to address the issue of identity theft and fraud. These measures would help the government recover money lost to the scheme.
According to the report released by the Department of Labor, over a third of the benefits given out under the pandemic unemployment program were inappropriate. The program, which was known as the PUA, had over $100 billion in payments. Following the report's release, the government implemented various safeguards to prevent further abuse and fraud.
The White House could revive elements of a pandemic-era program that has drawn scrutiny for improper payments with the 2024 presidential election ahead.https://t.co/ZXogFW0WMX
— Conservative News Daily (@ConservNewsDly) September 8, 2023
Despite the various steps taken to address the issue, concerns about the misuse of the program and fraud still remain. Reports have emerged about a Nigerian fraudster who stole millions of dollars from the program. In 2020, California temporarily suspended the applications of its residents due to a spike in fraudulent claims. The majority of these were made under the PUA.
Some Democrats, such as Adam Schiff and Ron Wyden, have called for the reinstatement of the pandemic unemployment program (PUA). However, with the House controlled by Republicans, the expansion of unemployment benefits may be difficult. Weidinger claims that the report released by Labor does not help matters as it shows how improper payments were made while the administration was considering bringing it back.
The report released by the Labor Department regarding the improper payments made under the pandemic unemployment program has resulted in criticism and controversy from the White House. Despite the report's findings, the administration maintains that it is not planning on reviving the program. It also maintains that the budget proposal seeks to implement comprehensive reforms. As a result, questions about the issue of fraud and abuse still remain, which could hinder efforts to expand the benefits.