Friday, March 20, 2009

Rep. Gerry Connolly On Congress's Action Regarding AIG Bonuses

I received the following statement from Rep. Gerry Connolly's office regarding his vote on a bill overwhelmingly passed by the House of Representatives that would impose a 90% tax on people who received enormous bonuses despite the fact that the company they worked for received federal bailout money. I think that action was definitely needed because it is simply unjustifiable for millions upon millions of taxpayers dollars to be as bonuses for executives who caused companies to almost completely collapse at the same time that we are asking the general public to make some sacrifices during this financial crisis.
Congressman Gerry Connolly joined with a bipartisan majority in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass legislation to impose a 90 percent tax on executive bonuses that were paid to highly paid AIG executives with federal bailout money.

“Greed at the expense of our nation’s taxpayers cannot and must not be rewarded in these trying economic times,” Connolly said. “The decision by AIG to pay its executives $165 million in so-called ‘retention’ bonuses using federal dollars is outrageous. Our overwhelming vote to tax those bonuses sends a clear signal that the Democratic Congress and the taxpayers will not tolerate such self-centered squandering of taxpayer dollars.”

By a vote of 328-93, the House passed H.R. 1586 which would tax the bonuses of highly paid individuals at a rate of 90 percent if their employer received more than $5 billion in federal assistance under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The legislation only applies to individuals whose total family adjusted gross income exceeds $250,000 per year. It affects bonuses received after January 1, 2009 and would cover companies receiving more than three-fourths of financial rescue funds already distributed.

“I was proud to cast my vote to tax these bonuses to the hilt,” Connolly said. “The actions of AIG were emblematic of everything that went wrong on Wall Street. It is this kind of utter fixation with money and reckless behavior that got our nation into the economic mess we face.”

Connolly praised the House Democratic leadership for bringing legislation to the House floor so quickly to deal with the matter.

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