Protecting Taxpayers and Victims of Unemployment Fraud Act

Floor Speech

Date: May 11, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, I am having flashbacks in terms of what we were facing in 2020. Every member of my office was working to try and deal with panicked people who couldn't get through to get their unemployment in a system that was bogged down, 600 percent increase.

Now, we are taking up legislation that would cut fraud-fighting dollars and hold hardworking Americans liable for overpayments that were not necessarily their fault. Families would be forced to repay these funds up to 10 years later. Even the Congressional Budget Office has said there is uncertainty about how much would be recovered.

I was in the middle of that. I saw the panic, the challenge, and despair. I think it would be far better to take advantage of extending the statute of limitations so we make sure we can claw it back. But don't punish people who may be caught up in this net that was not of their making.

I strongly urge that we reject this, that we deal with ways to increase the statute of limitations and recover the money that needs to be recovered.