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March 19th, 2009
Congressman Grijalva Supports Bill to Recoup Bonuses from AIG Executives

Washington, D.C. — Today, the House passed legislation to reclaim taxpayer money and deny unworthy American International Group (AIG) executives the outrageous bonuses the company doled out to them.

The Bonus Recoupment Tax Bill (H.R. 1586) will hold companies — including AIG and other companies receiving billions in taxpayer dollars — accountable for the bonuses that were paid to their executives.

AIG received more than $170 billion in taxpayer money, and then went ahead and paid $165 million in “retention payments” to executives. The top recipient received more than $6.4 million, and more than 73 of these executives were paid over $1 million in retention bonuses. After receiving their retention bonuses, at least eleven recipients left the company.

Congressional oversight in recent weeks has already halted $93 million in AIG ‘retention’ bonuses.

Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva shares the public’s outrage by the excessive abuse shown by AIG.

“Something is seriously wrong here,” said Grijalva. “These executives almost drove AIG to bankruptcy and our economy to the brink of collapse. So the question is, why are they getting bonuses? The answer is greed. This situation underscores the urgency and the need for overall financial regulatory reform so this does not happen again.”

The Bonus Recoupment Tax Bill will:

•Impose a 90 percent tax on bonuses paid after December 31, 2008, by companies that have received over $5 billion in Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) funds, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.

•This tax would apply to retention payments, incentive payments, or other bonuses.

•The tax only would apply to bonuses received by taxpayers with adjusted gross income over $250,000.

•It would cover companies receiving more than three-fourths of financial rescue funds already distributed.

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