REID STATEMENT ON AIG BONUSES
Washington, DC--Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today regarding the AIG bonuses:
"When a child breaks his curfew, he is grounded. When someone commits a crime, he is punished. And when an employee brings his company and our economy to the brink, he is not rewarded with a multimillion-dollar bonus paid by the taxpayers.
"Congress is taking several affirmative steps to deal with this outrage. First, we are sending AIG a letter asking them to renegotiate the contracts that include these appalling bonuses. Second, if they don't, Chairman Baucus will propose legislation to give this money back to the taxpayers by subjecting the bonuses to severe tax penalties. Third, as part of the Economic Recovery Act, we asked the Treasury Department to establish guidelines regarding executive pay and luxuries. Last week we sent Treasury a letter urging it to quickly finish these guidelines; today we reiterate that request. Fourth, we will work with President Obama and the Banking Committee to complete a Wall Street Accountability bill as soon as possible.
"AIG's attitude represents everything that is wrong with Wall Street, and its decision on these bonuses underscores the urgency with which we must demand reforms to ensure these abuses never happen again."