New Biden Administration Pick Oversaw Over $600,000,000 in Losses

New Biden Administration Pick Oversaw Over $600,000,000 in Losses

( – A Washington State official picked by President Biden was recently rebuked by a state auditor over massive unemployment claim losses early in the pandemic. Biden tapped Suzi LeVine to serve as the interim assistant secretary of the Employment and Training Administration. In 2020, LeVine oversaw the Washington state Employment Security Department that experienced over 122,000 fraudulent unemployment claims totaling over $600 million in losses linked to Nigeria.

The state audit faulted LeVine’s department for not solving a software vulnerability quickly enough, contributing to the unemployment fraud. The state only recovered about half of what was lost. While not alone, Washington was the hardest-hit state in the country for unemployment fraud.

Likely, LeVine will only serve the Biden administration on an “interim” basis due to her problems in Washington state. The position oversees three-quarters of the Labor Department’s budget and must be confirmed by the Senate. In 2019 and 2020, LeVine and her husband donated $400,000 to Biden’s campaign and other Democratic campaigns and organizations.

It’s not uncommon for generous donors to be appointed to openings, regardless of their qualifications. However, it may be too much of a stretch even for a Democratic-led Senate in this instance.

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