Marc Nozell via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Biden’s nominee to be number two in command at the Department of Labor apparently oversaw a broken and fraudulent unemployment system.
According to The Washington Free Beacon:
As California’s secretary of labor, Julie Su oversaw an unemployment website plagued by glitches and improper payments. The website repeatedly crashed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and was down as recently as this month. These systemic failures pose a challenge for Su, whom Biden has nominated to serve as deputy labor secretary.
Su has faced bipartisan pushback during her confirmation hearings, with moderate Democratic senators, including Joe Manchin (W. Va.), under pressure to join Republicans in opposing Su’s nomination. The Senate recently confirmed former Boston mayor Marty Walsh as secretary of labor with significant bipartisan support.
California’s unemployment site had more than 1 million unprocessed claims in March. The California Employment Development Department (EDD), which manages the unemployment claim process, did not respond to a request for comment on the backlog or on Su’s handling of the problems with the unemployment system. The department did acknowledge “an intermittent issue” with the site after multiple reports of crashing.
In January, California officials said that more than $11 billion of unemployment benefits paid during the coronavirus pandemic were fraudulent, with another $19 billion still under investigation by state officials. In addition to these payments, Su oversaw the fraudulent payments of nearly $1 billion to prison inmates in what the Sacramento County district attorney described as “one of the biggest frauds of taxpayer dollars in California history.” The fraud involved the filing of more than 35,000 unemployment claims under the names of California prison inmates that were paid out between March and August of 2020.
California is a model the country should work to not follow, but apparently, Biden wants to follow in its footsteps.
Image Credit: Marc Nozell via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)