[Madison, WI] – In case you missed it, yesterday Wisconsin’s Republican congressional delegation called on the U.S. Department of Labor to determine the amount of waste, fraud, and abuse in Wisconsin’s unemployment system. This comes after Tony Evers vetoed Republicans’ bill that would have ended the additional federal benefits that are encouraging workers to stay home and ignored two letters from the delegation asking him to opt out of the federal benefits and seeking information on “what efforts he had taken to steward increased federal dollars.”
Not only is Tony Evers refusing to act on the workforce shortage or even acknowledge the businesses that are struggling, but he is refusing to provide transparency to Wisconsin elected officials and the public on the extent that taxpayer dollars have been stolen. As Evers and his staff continue to show unabashed disdain for small business owners and defend the ongoing flow of payments despite the vast number of job openings across the state, he should at least ensure that taxpayer dollars are not lost to those committing fraud in the system.
Read the full letter here, or read more from Empower Wisconsin below:
Evers fails to address unemployment fraud concerns
July 29, 2021
Gov. Tony Evers’ Department of Workforce Development has been a model of failure.
Now Wisconsin’s Republican congressional delegation is calling on the U.S. Department of Labor to review the state’s unemployment insurance programs to determine the extent of waste, fraud, and abuse within.
The effort comes a day after Assembly Democrats sustained Gov. Tony Evers’ veto of Republican legislation that would have ended the $300 weekly federal unemployment bonus payment to claimants. The enhanced benefit, created to assist jobless Americans through the pandemic, is seen as a driving factor behind a worker shortage crisis in the Badger State and many parts of the country.
More than a month ago, U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Allouez) led members of the delegation in calling on Evers to clarify his administration’s past and present efforts to prevent unemployment fraud in light of reports that suggested up to $400 billion of these funds may have been stolen.
That request for information has fallen on deaf ears.
A recent report by the Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy (CROWE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found the Evers administration has failed to check fraudulent activity. Amid growing reports of rampant fraud, the fraud detection rate has plummeted to near zero, with detected fraud cases down 41 percent as claims have exploded, according to the report — “The (Poor) Performance of the Unemployment System During COVID-19 in the United States and (Especially) Wisconsin”
Wisconsin’s Republican congressional delegation sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor’s acting inspector general asking the agency to look into state unemployment insurance programs nationwide.
“We’ve now seen estimates of hundreds of billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse related to federal unemployment assistance,” said U.S.Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Oshkosh). “We can’t keep pushing this down the road. I urge Governor Evers to act to protect taxpayers and help get people back to work.”