Rank-and-file Senate Democrats on Monday helped put the brakes on their own congressional leaders’ frenzied dash to enact new taxes to take back executive bonuses at bailed-out Wall Street firms.
By S. A. Miller
Democratic defectors echoed President Obama‘s and business leaders’ concerns about the tax bill’s legality and chilling effect on struggling financial firms. Critics said the tax penalty could scare banks from participating in the Treasury plan announced Monday to buy toxic assets in order to unfreeze credit markets.
“I think the president is right. We shouldn’t be making decisions here out of anger,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, referring to comments Mr. Obama made Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes” urging a more deliberate approach.
New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday evening that some employees at American International Group Inc., the company whose bonuses have drawn the ire of Congress and the public, will voluntarily give back the money. AIG is under fire for paying $165 million in bonuses while being kept afloat with a $170 billion infusion from the government.
Cuomo Says AIG Execs Will Return Bonuses “Voluntarily”
The New York State attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, said on Monday that he had persuaded nine of the top 10 bonus recipients at the American International Group to give the money back, as the Senate retreated on plans to tax such bonuses.