Our congressman says that the history of action leading up
to bonus outrage points out the real problem.
Congressman Buck McKeon is going on the offensive, after the
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee publicly pushed blame on him and
other House republicans for not stopping the massive bonuses paid out to American
International Group (AIG) executives.
McKeon responded immediately, providing a detailed timeline
of the AIG action, and provoking inquiry
into Senator Chris Dodd's admitted involvement in altering language that would
have prevented the executives' bonuses.
AIG has been the
recipient of billions in federal assistance over the last six months. Recent reports that company executives were
paid $165 million in bonuses from the assistance money has infuriated the public.
"I am outraged by reports that AIG
has paid million dollar bonuses to company executives – this is after receiving
billions in taxpayer assistance," said McKeon. My constituents – and
Americans across the country – are irate by AIG's
arrogance. Enough is enough."
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had peppered
McKeon with insults in a press release issued this week, saying that he is to
blame for the bonuses.
"It's easy for Republicans to play to angry Americans and
say they're offended by bonuses during a firestorm, but the reality is that
Representative Buck McKeon's offense rings hollow after years of being part of
the problem that led to outrageous executive pay and bonuses," said Jennifer
Crider, Communications Director for the political group.
But McKeon says that he's not to blame, and he's providing
evidence to back him up.
He published a timeline on his
website that detailed the interaction between AIG
and the federal government. In it, he describes Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's
intimate contact with the AIC proceedings, as he was head of the Federal
Reserve in New York at the time. Geithner
has tried to distance himself from actions that occurred before he took the office
of the Treasury Secretary.
McKeon also raised questions about Senator Chris Dodd, who
has been the focus of much media attention after first denying then admitting
to changing language in the federal stimulus bill that allowed for bonuses to
be paid with federal assistance money if they were already contractually obligated.
Dodd claims that he was asked to change the language that would have otherwise
prevented the bonuses by members of the Obama administration. He has not
specified who asked him to make the change.
"It's time Democrats
started answering some serious questions: When did Secretary Geithner know
about the bonuses? When was President Obama informed about the bonuses?"
said McKeon. "We need answers from Senator Chris Dodd and other Democrats about
their knowledge of these bonuses and why a provision was included in the stimulus
package that allowed this to happen to taxpayer money. We need answers