Democratic leaders scrambling to strip AIG executives of bonuses are having a hard time answering a key question: Why didn't Congress act to prevent the bonuses in the first place?
"There's always more we can do, and hindsight is 20/20," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Tuesday.
But though some lawmakers did move to prevent bonuses in the stimulus bill last month, the final language actually makes an exception for pre-existing contracts, effectively exempting AIG.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, who originally proposed the executive compensation provision, said he did not include the exemption clause, which said new rules "shall not be construed to prohibit any bonus payment required to be paid pursuant to a written employment contract executed on or before February 11, 2009."
In an interview with CNN, Dodd denied inserting that exemption at the 11th hour, and insisted he doesn't know how it got there. Read full article »