NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - It may not be long before shareholders have more control over how much money top executives across the country make.
This week, both the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee are tackling the issue of "say on pay" - which would allow investors to vote on compensation packages.. Experts think Congress could soon pass such legislation and have it on President Obama's desk as early as this fall.
"Unless there is something that takes executive compensation out of the headlines, I think it is likely these provisions will become law," said Michael Melbinger, a lawyer at Winston & Strawn, who serves as chair of the firm's executive compensation practice.
From exorbitant salaries to outsized bonuses, corporate compensation practices have remained a lightning rod of criticism from lawmakers and taxpayers for much of this year.
After the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates spiraled into a national debate about race, President Obama is hoping to take things down a notch with a casual meeting at the White House.
The president is scheduled to meet Thursday evening with Professor Gates and the arresting officer — Sgt. James Crowley. The White House says the meeting — which is set to happen at a picnic table outside the Oval Office — is about "having a beer and de-escalation."
It's clearly to the president's advantage if he can take the heat away from this story, get it out of the news, and let the focus return to his priority of health care reform.
Mr. Obama has said he hopes the incident in Cambridge can end up being a "teachable moment" for the country. The president acknowledged that he contributed to the whole incident by saying the police "acted stupidly" without knowing all the facts in the case.
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(CNN) - The top Democratic challenger to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg now trails the mayor by 10 percentage points, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.
That's a drop from the 22-point lead Bloomberg held over New York City Comptroller William Thompson in the previous Quinnipiac poll released June 16.
Fifty-nine percent of New York City voters give Bloomberg a favorable rating in Tuesday's poll while 34 percent rated the mayor unfavorably. Sixty-three percent approve of the job Bloomberg is doing, while 29 percent disapprove.
Tuesday's poll surveyed 1,290 New York City registered voters from July 21-27. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. In the poll, Bloomberg was identified as "running as both a Republican and an independent" while in Quinnipiac's June 16 survey, Bloomberg was identified only as an independent.
(CNN) - A reluctant Robert Gibbs struck back sharply Monday at those who continue to question whether President Obama was born in the United States, saying nothing the White House can do will put the issue to rest.
"No, the God's honest truth is no - let's understand this," Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said when a reporter asked if there is anything more the administration can do to satisfy those who question where the president was born.
"I almost hate to indulge in such an august setting as the White House briefing room discussing the made up fictional nonsense of whether the president was born in this country," Gibbs continued. "A year and a half ago, I asked that the birth certificate be put on the Internet. Because Lord knows if you got a birth certificate and you put it on the internet, what else could be the story?
"Here's the deal. If I had some DNA, it wouldn't assuage those who don't believe he was born here," Gibbs also said. "I have news for them and all of us. The president was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the 50th state of the greatest country on the face of the earth. He is a citizen."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor faces her next hurdle Tuesday morning, as the Senate Judiciary Committee votes whether or not to confirm her.
At least nine Republicans have said they will vote against Sotomayor, 55, Obama's first nominee to the nation's highest court. Five mostly moderate GOP lawmakers announced their intention to back her.
Republicans are not expected to be able to block her approval by the Judiciary Committee or the full Senate, which will vote on her nomination if she gets the green light from the committee.
She will become the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice if she wins full Senate backing.
Obama's Democratic Party holds an 11-7 majority on the Judiciary Committee and a 58-40 edge in the full Senate, with two independents leaning towards the Democrats.
Two key Republicans on the committee announced their opposition to her on Friday, a sign the party's conservative base is uniting against Obama's choice.
Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah - the former chairman of the committee - and Sen. John Cornyn of Texas - head of the party's Senate campaign committee –announced on the Senate floor their intention to vote against the federal appeals court judge.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday arrived in Iraq, where he will meet with the country's prime minister, Nuri al Maliki, and get a first-hand look at the American military's new role of supporting Iraqi forces.
U.S. troops have handed over control of key cities and towns to Iraqi security forces and are scheduled to completely pull out of the country by 2011.
Gates arrived at a U.S. base in southern Iraq on an unannounced visit. On Monday, Gates was in Israel and Jordan.
The defense secretary's visit to the region is part of a busy week of U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East.
George Mitchell, Obama's special envoy to the Middle East, also held meetings with top officials, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A challenge that President Obama made to his Cabinet in April resulted in cost-cutting measures that more than doubled the original $100 million target, his administration said Monday.
At his first Cabinet meeting, Obama asked Cabinet members to find $100 million in savings in 90 days. The deadline passed last week with no announcement, and the White House responded to reporters that information was being compiled.
The Office of Management and Budget announced the results Monday, saying Cabinet members identified $243 million in savings through the end of next year.
The Defense Department had the bulk of the big-ticket items. Replacing the standard jet fuel used by the military with commercial jet fuel was expected to save the Air Force more than $51 million, the report said. Increasing the number of soldiers per chartered aircraft going on leave was estimated to save the Army more than $33 million, it said.
The Department of Homeland Security was expected to save $47,000 by consolidating subscriptions to professional publications and newspapers, while the media relations office at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was expected to save $2,000 by using electronic copies of daily newspaper clippings instead of hard copies.
"These savings reflect the president's belief that even small savings can add up," Budget Director Peter Orszag said in a message on the OMB Web site.
Orszag added that the White House would continue to work with federal agencies "to identify further savings as part of the 2011 budget process," with hopes that such steps "will start to instill a culture of cost-savings and care when it comes to using taxpayer dollars."