March 18th, 2009
02:01 PM ET
6 years ago

Bonuses allowed by stimulus bill

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Democratic leaders scrambling to strip AIG executives of bonuses are having a hard time answering a key question: Why didn't Congress act to prevent the bonuses in the first place.
Democratic leaders scrambling to strip AIG executives of bonuses are having a hard time answering a key question: Why didn't Congress act to prevent the bonuses in the first place.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democratic leaders scrambling to strip AIG executives of bonuses are having a hard time answering a key question: Why didn't Congress act to prevent the bonuses in the first place.

"There's always more we can do, and hindsight is 20/20," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Tuesday.

But though some lawmakers did move to prevent bonuses in the stimulus bill last month, the final language actually makes an exception for pre-existing contracts, effectively exempting AIG.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, who originally proposed the executive compensation provision, said he did not include the exemption clause, which said new rules "shall not be construed to prohibit any bonus payment required to be paid pursuant to a written employment contract executed on or before February 11, 2009."

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Filed under: AIG
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Rick

    Why didn't the Obama administration do more? Because they are a bunch of bumbling clowns, that's why.

    March 18, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. jeff

    Wow, Bonuses for employee's. The government gave them the money why not? They should have been allowed to fail. I blame the Obamanation people. As well as them giving foreign banks over $40,000,000,000 to help stimulate our economy. I cant figure that one out and I would rather see them go after that screw up instead of AIG's. Get with it people. Remember who the Government works for. Its not them selves but all of us. Start acting that way!

    March 18, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. NYC REPUB

    Well if they had prevented bonuses 100% during this time, then the administration would have been blasted for punishing the rewards of the free market, and accused (as usual) for socialism...... I tell you, people are so wishy washy....

    March 18, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. Matt in MN

    So maybe Congress SHOULD have read the final version of the Stimulus Package / Spending Bill after all....

    March 18, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. they are really trying to

    make us dislike them aren't they?

    March 18, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  6. S.M

    Dems should have come up with a more solid plan to stop AIG from collecting these unlaw bonuses. However, all of this started with the Bush administration when AIG and other's came a calling for a handout from the Taxpayers.

    March 18, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. gl, Pittsburgh

    That becasue everybody was scream nationalization if the Govenment but restriction on the banks. It was mostly the Republicans making the aloudest noice and Morning Joe screarming Big government. Now they want to blame President Obama for the mess. You Republicans have a very short memery.

    March 18, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Tek

    I'm a Democrat but I have to say that the Democrats right now are grandstanding. I still believe in the bailout because let's face it, if AIG fails then basically the world economy will collapse. Right now, Democrats are hitting AIG's CEO Liddy hard even though they know he came on well after the bonuses were signed and he is doing this for $1 a year. I will always be a Democrat but the grandstanding by some high profile Democrats is sickening. Also, some Republicans are guilty of grandstanding also by continuing their opposition to the bailout. The Republicans know, as well as anyone with a brain, that the bailout is essential for AIG existence. AIG insures virtually everything so if they fall then the fallout will far worse then the billions already spent.

    March 18, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. What a joke...

    Oops, you mean Obama, Reid, and Dodd let this happen??? Guess this won't be an issue for much longer.

    March 18, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. tk in IL

    Now which nitwit in the new administration genuinely thought that hiding behind the old "We didn't know" excuse was going to work this time? How could they NOT have known. This level of incompetence is becoming a regular pattern and smells to high heaven of much more than anyone is letting on.

    March 18, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. R. Cline

    Wolf B. AIG On the Bogas pay out to the Managers and Leagle team that advised them . We paid to bail them out but with ALL the greed involved . I SAY lets make it leagle to FILE FOR LOSS in court from the People that put AIG and outhers in this spot AND LOST all the MONEY . I think if we have to bail out a Co. it is time to make the ones accountable that made the loss Let the INVESTERS Take them to the cleaners NOT AIG . OR outher Co. BUT THE MANNAGERS AND STAFF THAT LOST THE MONEY ...
    LET THEM PAY OUT OF THEIR POCKETS !!!!!!! They #### the cat let them hold the bag. The investers lost more than what was taken in a bonus let then recive the same GREED back from the people that trusted them to handle Life savings and retirements.
    signed R. Cline

    March 18, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. Rick

    Timmy, Frank, Pelosi and Obama knew about the BONUSES because it was in the stimulus, Its time for all of them to go for the TOTAL MISMANAGEMENT of the American peoples TAX DOLLARS.

    March 18, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. barack is still just b.o.

    Why didn't congress act to prevent the bonuses?

    Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut: $103,100
    President Barack Obama: $101,332
    Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona: $59,499
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: $35,965
    Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana: $24,750
    Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney: $20,850
    Vice President Joe Biden: $19,975
    Rep. John Larson, D-Connecticut: $19,750

    March 18, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. The One

    The Democraps are denying responsibility, as usual.

    March 18, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. Huh...

    Oops, you mean Obama, Reid, and Dodd let this happen??? Guess this won't be an issue for much longer.....

    March 18, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. Johnny

    "There's always more we can do, and hindsight is 20/20," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Tuesday.

    Interesting statement......

    March 18, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. J.P.

    Ah yes, Democrats... the party of "unintended consequences."

    Just think... if we had let AIG fail last autumn, like so many conservatives recommended (and NO, GWB was NEVER a conservative), we wouldn't have this little problem with bonuses, now would we?

    March 18, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. yuri

    These boistrous bonus behemoth benefits both the bosses and the other bastardly execs. But we were not at all aware that it was allowed in the stimulus bill. Hey BHO, come out and say something.

    March 18, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. Brian, California

    Only good business practices are allowed... no exessive bonuses and this at taxpayers expense.

    March 18, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. SS

    Looks like someone forgot to read the fineprint, unless the contract were ironclad??? My question is...Do those who received the bonus, from the government/taxpayers, honestly believe it is their right to get one, being that the company is being BAILED OUT...AND...the logic is...HMMM my company needs a bailout and since the government is going to do that, yep I'll just let that one slide, maybe no one will catch and I'll take the money, after all I won't mind if struggling taxpayers pay for a bonus I don't deserve... (Idiots!)

    March 18, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  21. no corporate politics

    Republicans and Democrats and Obama all took money from AIG and many other financial corporations.

    Repub-Demo-Obama let them off easy with a "talking to", and now are pretending to be "outraged".

    LIES all around.

    March 18, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  22. SS

    WHAT???

    The top ten recipients of AIG donations for the 2008 election cycle:
    Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut: $103,100
    President Barack Obama: $101,332
    Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona: $59,499
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: $35,965
    Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana: $24,750
    Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney: $20,850
    Vice President Joe Biden: $19,975
    Rep. John Larson, D-Connecticut: $19,750
    Sen. John Sununu, R-New Hampshire: $18,500
    FormerpPresidential candidate Rudy Giuliani: $13,200

    March 18, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  23. jimbo

    Which brainless congressperson let this slide by. and how much
    did he recieve from AIG and when is he or she going to jail

    March 18, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  24. Tek

    We all are angry as taxpayers but sometimes we just have to let some crap slide through. Although I don't agree with the bonuses and it is distasteful, having 165 million go through is far better than having the company fall as a whole. Like I said in my earlier post, if AIG fails then virtually the world's economy will go down the drain. They Insure millions and if they cannot back it up then say good-bye to the world.

    March 18, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  25. Steve (the real one)

    jimbo March 18th, 2009 5:31 pm ET
    Which brainless congressperson let this slide by. and how much
    did he recieve from AIG and when is he or she going to jail
    ---------------–
    I have a better question. Who actually read it before they voted on it? What ever happened to our "FIVE DAYS" of public review before this was signed? If this wasn't rushed through te Congress and signed in only 2 days rather than the 5 days promised by Obama, we would not be having this hdiscussion!!!

    March 18, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |