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Michele Bachmann questions AIG’s Liddy

Rep. Michele Bachmann
Rep. Michele Bachmann

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Edward Liddy, AIG chairman and CEO, told a Congressional panel today that he has asked some employees to give back at least half of the bonus money recently handed out.

Liddy testified before the House Financial Services subcommittee on capital markets, where he underwent intense questioning from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who sits on the subcommittee, said that she was “just stupefied by the audacity of executives who even as they were able to retain their jobs by the grace of hard-working taxpayers are unwilling to deny their million-dollar bonuses.”

Meanwhile, a procedural motion that would have allowed Rep. Erik Paulsen’s bill to recoup bonus payments made to executives by American International Group to be immediately considered by the House was defeated today in a 221 to 182 vote.

Minnesota’s delegation split along party lines.

“It is simply incomprehensible that a company that has now received some $170 billion in taxpayer funding — the same company that recently posted the largest quarterly loss in U.S. corporate history — would pay their executives $165 million worth of bonuses,” Paulsen, R-Minn., said in a statement.  “Today, we had a chance to take action to recover this funding and prevent it from happening again.  I’m disappointed this effort was defeated.”

Alternative plans have been suggested by House Democrats and the various senators, including waiting to see if A.I.G. can recover the money first.

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Len Lichtblau on 03/18/2009 - 08:12 pm.

    I’m shocked, shocked that Ms. Bachmann didn’t ask the press to see if Mr. Liddy’s behavior is unAmerican.

    Also, perhaps congress can pass a bill that allows these people to keep their bonuses but permanently bans them from the banking and investment industries for LIFE. How many of them can make it in another industry if they have to live on this meager bonus for the rest of their lives.

  2. Submitted by Brian Simon on 03/19/2009 - 01:05 pm.

    I wonder if Rep Bachmann really believes, in her heart of hearts, that the Gov’t should be dictating to business what their compensation structures should be. That’s certainly not a consistent position with my perception of her as a small-government conservative. Of course she is justified, as are the rest of us, in feeling outrage at the obscene levels of compensation these bozos receive. But that doesn’t mean it is appropriate – or legal – for the gov’t to try to claw the bonuses back.

  3. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/20/2009 - 01:18 pm.

    One of Congress’s biggest foes of government regulation of business is now calling for the abrogation of legal contracts.
    Maybe SHE should return all of the taxpayers’ money that she has received on the basis that she has not competently fulfilled her duties.

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