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Kind Votes to Recover AIG Bonus Money

March 19, 2009
Press Release

Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) voted to recover bonuses given to corporate executives atfailing corporations that received more than $5 billion of taxpayer money under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Federal authorities have spent more than $170 billion trying to prevent AIG from going under because the collapse of the insurance company would have a devastating impact in America and around the world.

“It’s as if Wall Street has been operating in a moral vacuum on all of this--a divorce from the value system of the rest of the country,” Rep. Kind said. “American taxpayers need to know that banks are acting responsibly with taxpayers’ money. It is clearly irresponsible to use taxpayer money to pay bonuses out to executives of failing corporations that pushed our financial system to the brink of collapse.”

The legislation, H.R. 1586, will levy a 90 percent tax on bonuses to employees earning over $250,000 in adjusted gross income from corporations that received more than $5 billion from TARP funding.

When the Ways & Means Subcommittee on Oversight met on Thursday morning, Rep. Kind sought to ensure that the Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have the tools they need to maintain a vigorous oversight of TARP and taxpayers’ money.

“I’m concerned that the GAO still faces major limitations in its oversight of the Federal Reserve. I strongly believe that the Fed must maintain its independence from the whims of Congress, but there must be accountability when billions of taxpayer dollars are at stake.  With the enormous role the Fed has carved out for itself  in this economic crisis, we need to figure out how we can make sure the GAO has access to the information it needs to properly oversee TARP and protect the interests of the American public.”