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Statement by Congressman McCarthy on Vote on AIG Bonus Payments

Mar 19, 2009
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Congressman McCarthy issued the following statement after voting in opposition to a hastily-drafted bill aimed at AIG executive bonuses:  

“As small businesses and middle class Americans struggle to make ends meet in this economic crisis, I share the outrage that taxpayer dollars should not be used for executive bonus payments. We deserve an answer as to how this happened.

“Yesterday, the Financial Services Committee, on which I serve, held a hearing to examine this very issue. How could $165 million in taxpayer dollars be given out in bonuses to AIG executives? We still don’t know the full answer. News reports highlight that these bonuses would not have been allowed if a provision in the hastily drafted stimulus spending legislation was not removed behind closed doors. This is taxpayer money.  We deserve to know what went on behind those closed doors and why either the Treasury Department or Democratic leadership stripped an amendment that would have banned these types of bonuses?
“Today’s hastily-drafted, constitutionally-questionable bill with a 90 percent income tax hike attempts to divert attention to these questions.  It does nothing to stop future companies that have taken bailout and taxpayer money from giving executive bonuses.  I supported an alternative bill that would have required the Treasury Department to be accountable with our taxpayer dollars by approving any future bonus payments for companies that have received taxpayer funds, and recouping 100 percent of our taxpayer money back.  Hardworking American taxpayers deserve that money back – all of it.”

Yesterday, Congressman McCarthy appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball to speak about this very issue. You can view that video by clicking here.