From Bloomberg, Chris Dodd takes responsibility for a provision he put into the stimulus bill which insured that AIG execs would get their bonuses (which are now being used as an argument to create a new confiscatory tax rate).
Dodd Blames Obama Administration for Bonus Amendment (Update1)
By Ryan J. Donmoyer
March 19 (Bloomberg) -- Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd said the Obama administration asked him to insert a provision in last month’s $787 billion economic- stimulus legislation that had the effect of authorizing American International Group Inc.’s bonuses.
Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, said yesterday he agreed to modify restrictions on executive pay at companies receiving taxpayer assistance to exempt bonuses already agreed upon in contracts. He said he did so without realizing the change would benefit AIG, whose recent $165 million payment to employees has sparked a public furor.
Dodd said he had wanted to limit executive compensation at companies that got money from the government’s financial-rescue fund. AIG has received $173 billion in bailout money. His provision was changed as the stimulus legislation was negotiated between the House and Senate.
“I did not want to make any changes to my original Senate- passed amendment” to the stimulus bill, “but I did so at the request of administration officials, who gave us no indication that this was in any way related to AIG,” Dodd said in a statement released last night. “Let me be clear -- I was completely unaware of these AIG bonuses until I learned of them last week.” He didn’t name the administration officials who made the request.
An administration official said last night that representatives of President Barack Obama didn’t insist on the change, though they did contend that the language in Dodd’s amendment could be legally challenged because it would apply retroactively to bonus agreements. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity.
That provision in the stimulus bill may undercut complaints by congressional Democrats about the AIG bonuses because most of them voted for the legislation. No Republicans in the House and only three in the Senate supported the stimulus measure.
“The fact is that the bill the president signed, which protected the AIG bonuses and others, was written behind closed doors by Democratic leaders of the House and Senate,” Iowa Senator Charles Grassley said in a statement.
These guys are a bunch of clowns!!!
ARC: St Wendeler