Congressman Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, has co-sponsored a bipartisan act to prevent Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) fraud and recover an estimated $31 billion in wrongly distributed funds.
The bill cosponsored by Garcia, called the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Fraud Protection Act or House Resolution 4190, was introduced to the House of Representatives on Friday.
“In Congress, one of my priorities is ensuring that taxpayer dollars are properly spent,” Garcia said. “The State of California’s mismanagement of billions in PUA funds that were intended for the millions of Californians financially impacted by the state’s mandated lockdowns is unacceptable.”
This bill would require states to recover fraudulent benefit payments, prevent future fraud and support the victims of unemployment benefit fraud and identity theft, according to representatives for Garcia.
In February, Garcia sent a letter with the California Republican Delegation calling on Governor Newsom to investigate California’s Employment Development Department’s (EDD) mismanagement of the billions in taxpayer funds, representatives said.
The EDD fraud has also been a concern for Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita prompting him to write bills of his own and letters to the Governor.
“Little about the EDD is modern or functional,” Wilk said in a previous KHTS article. “EDD has continued to place Californians at risk for identity theft.”
It is now estimated that California’s EDD has paid out up to $31 billion in PUA benefits to fraudulent entities or ineligible individuals, according to Garcia’s office.
H.R. 4190 has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means and is awaiting further action.
For more information regarding the bill, click here.
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