House Votes Today on Bonus Clawback

Bill being rushed through would slap 90% tax on bonuses at bailed-out firms
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2009 3:51 AM CDT
AIG Chairman Edward Liddy leaves after testifying before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capitol Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises in Washington yesterday.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – The House will vote today on a hastily crafted bill to claw back bonuses from executives at AIG and other bailed-out firms, reports the Hill. The bill, drawn up by Democratic tax experts, slaps a 90% tax on bonuses over $250,000 at firms that received $5 billion or more in federal aid. The House Judiciary Committee is racing to complete another bill allowing the Justice Department to target the bonuses as “excessive payments.”

GOP lawmakers, joined by some Democrats, slammed the administration for rushing the legislation, saying the bonus scandal would never have occurred if Democrats had taken more time to craft earlier bills.  “It may cost us more to block these bonuses than it will to honor them,” charged Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.), who said the bill's primary purpose appeared to be scoring quick political points.