Press Releases

Republicans Insist on Sending Parents Surprise Unemployment Bills

WATCH: Ways & Means GOP reject DelBene effort to shield parents from their overpayment clawbacks

Today, House Ways & Means Committee Republicans rejected an amendment offered by Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) to H.R. 1163 that would protect parents from receiving surprise bills for pandemic-era unemployment insurance benefits during a committee markup.

The underlying Republican-led legislation would rescind the estimated remaining $400 million in American Rescue Plan resources designed to fight unemployment fraud and improve access to unemployment insurance. The bill would also empower states to send bills to families for unemployment insurance overpayments that were submitted in good faith by applicants and states approved in error. This would force working Americans to repay funds they no longer have or face steep penalties.

The DelBene amendment would shield parents with children from Republican overpayment bills.

“On one hand, Republicans are opposing increased IRS enforcement to protect wealthy tax cheats by conjuring up this image that thousands of IRS agents would be pounding on your door,” DelBene said. “While on the other, they are advancing this bill that would send a new bill to hardworking Americans who filled out unemployment insurance applications honestly and received benefits that their state said they qualified for.”

Republicans on the committee rejected the DelBene amendment 17-22 while Democrats universally supported the measure.

Watch DelBene’s remarks here.