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VIDEO: Harder Pushes Labor Secretary Walsh on Fixes for EDD “Disaster”

WASHINGTON — Today, Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) pushed Labor Secretary Marty Walsh to explain why the $2 billion passed through the American Rescue Plan meant for unemployment agencies like California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) to prevent fraud, promote equitable access, and ensure timely payment of benefits has yet to be distributed.

Rep. Harder called EDD a “Disaster. A total and complete mess,” and insisted the federal government act as soon as possible to help reform the broken agency.  He spoke about a mom of two kids he met in Modesto who called EDD more than one hundred times a day for six weeks and never once was able to speak to a real person. In response to Rep. Harder’s question, Sec. Walsh outlined the grant process his agency is working on to distribute the $2 billion to states and territories. The agency does not yet have a timeline for distributing these funds.

Rep. Harder also insisted Sec. Walsh put forward a plan for oversight and accountability for these funds due to EDD’s history of mismanagement saying, “We’ve seen organizations like EDD get more cash again and again and it doesn’t seem to make the situation any better. What does the oversight look like? How are we going to make sure these funds are actually put to good use instead of thrown out the window like we’ve seen happen historically in unemployment offices like California’s?” 

The full exchange is available for use here.


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