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Rep. Tenney Votes for Bill Targeting Unemployment Fraud


Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24), a member of the Ways and Means Committee, on Thursday, voted in favor of H.R. 1163, the Protecting Taxpayers and Victims of Unemployment Fraud Act. This bill provides states with incentives to investigate and recover fraudulent unemployment insurance payments while working to fight and prevent future fraud.

Tenney was an original cosponsor of this legislation and supported its passage in the House Ways and Means Committee when it was considered earlier this year. The bill passed the House by a vote of 230-200.

Tenney has said she wanted to hold New York accountable for its pandemic-era fraud, waste, and abuse. After a report by the New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found rampant Unemployment Insurance fraud totaling $11 billion, Tenney sent a letter to Comptroller DiNapoli expressing concerns over his office’s decision to delay key findings related to the audit until after New York’s 2022 gubernatorial election between Kathy Hochul and Lee Zeldin.

“The total cost of improper unemployment insurance payments across our country has reached at least $191 billion, with some experts estimating it as high as $400 billion,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “New York alone accounts for $11 billion in fraudulent charges. Countless constituents contacted my office to notify us of receiving unemployment forms they hadn’t requested and dealing with the ramifications of having their identity stolen to obtain fraudulent funds. The Protecting Taxpayers and Victims of Unemployment Fraud Act moves us one important step closer to recovering lost taxpayer dollars, holding fraudsters accountable, and putting in place a system to protect against future fraud.”

Specifically, the Protecting Taxpayers and Victims of Unemployment Fraud Act:

  • Allows states to retain 25% of recovered fraudulent federal funds.
  • Allows states to use recovery funds to improve UI program integrity and fraud prevention.
  • Allows states to retain five percent of state UI overpayments recovered upon meeting data matching integrity conditions and dedicating such funds to preventing future fraud.
  • Extends the statute of limitations for criminal charges or civil actions for prosecuting fraud from five to ten years.

Tenney spoke on the House floor in support of this legislation earlier today. You can watch her remarks here.

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