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California's 40th District

Feb 11, 2021 | Economy, Health, In The News

Today, Representative Mike Garcia (CA-25), Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), Representatives Michelle Steel (CA-48), and eight other California lawmakers sent a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Secretary of California’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency Julie Su and Director of California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) Rita Saenz urging them to investigate the issue of California EDD processing over $11.4 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims.

“Let us be clear – the mismanagement of taxpayer dollars in the amount of $11.4 billion is absolutely unacceptable and the delay in processing Californians’ legitimate COVID-related UI claims is also absolutely unacceptable,” the lawmakers wrote.

Despite being warned by the federal government of the threat of fraud payment claims, California EDD officials continued to pay claims with no background check. On December 31st, 2020 roughly 1.4 million Californians’ payments were suspended throughout the state in an attempted response to the fraud. This suspension was done with no warning and very little clarification on which claims were fraudulent and which were legitimate. Additionally, the EDD recently confirmed that there is a backlog of roughly 900,000 unemployment claims waiting to be processed. Many Californians are still waiting for their benefits and have yet to receive any update regarding the situation.

“Californians have been playing a waiting game for over a year,” said Garcia. “The State of California has enforced longstanding lockdowns which have resulted in many shuttered businesses and left many more unemployed. It is unacceptable that Governor Newsom and California EDD are not only failing to properly distribute the economic assistance to Californians punished by state-mandated lockdowns, but they are also processing fraudulent claims. As a result, far too many Californians are unable to get the help that they so desperately need. I will continue to work to ensure that Californians receive the support they need to combat and recover from this deadly pandemic and the economic fallout it has caused for many.”

The letter was signed by a total of 11 California lawmakers, including Representatives Mike Garcia (CA-25), Michelle Steel (CA-48) and Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) Reps. Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Tom McClintock (CA-04), Jay Obernolte (CA-08), David Valadao (CA-21), Devin Nunes (CA-22), Mike Garcia (CA-25), Young Kim (CA-39), Ken Calvert (CA-42), and Darrell Issa (CA-50)

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