Legislators' rage over
retention packages is cooling, according to a front page story in
The Wall Street Journal
A Senate bill that would tax many bonuses paid to executives at institutions receiving federal capital injections will not reach the Senate floor for a vote until after April 3, the paper reported. The House of Representatives last week passed a bill that would tax employees making more than $250,000 a year by 90% at companies receiving more than $5 billion in federal aid.
The bill was passed with lightning speed in response to news that AIG would pay at least $165 million in bonuses to executives in its financial products division, which is responsible for massive losses at the insurer leading to a $170 billion federal bailout.
Comments from President Barack Obama rejecting the House bill, as well as the moderating influence of Senate Republicans, have slowed the progress of the legislation, the paper says. It also notes that many of AIG's top executives have agreed to pay their bonuses back.