AIG Bonuses Light a Fire Under Congress
By Ben Pershing
The AIG bonus controversy showed no signs of abating Wednesday, providing a useful reminder of how quickly Congress can move when it's scared, like an otherwise tame animal that lashes out when it's cornered.
A body that can take weeks just to decide whether to clear its throat now appears set to pass a strange, punitive tax bill against recipients of those bonuses with remarkable haste. The House is expected to act today, while the Senate could move soon after. It remains unclear how much long-term political impact the AIG story will have; for one possible comparison, recall the Dubai Ports World controversy, which burned hot for a few weeks but seemed to fizzle out fairly quickly. It could just be that this story, like that one, is a convenient hook for populist anger. Or it might be the thread that unravels the government's entire bailout strategy, as increased scrutiny of the whole edifice brings increased criticism. Either way, there's little doubt that both the Obama administration and Congress, particularly Democratic leaders, are genuinely afraid of this story.
It seems that there's one Democrat who really should be afraid. If you listened closely yesterday in the Capitol, it's possible you heard the sound of Chris Dodd's career coming to an end. Too harsh an assessment? Perhaps, but it's hard to overstate how badly the Connecticut senator stepped in it when he admitted that he had put language in the stimulus bill ensuring that contractual bonuses were paid out at companies receiving bailout money, a day after saying he didn't know how the language got in. Dodd blamed the administration for asking for the change, but this revelation -- on top of the Countrywide VIP scandal and recent coverage of his personal financial deals -- will make his reelection fight even tougher in 2010. Will Dodd put his head down and fight to keep his seat, or might he decide to retire?
Posted at 8:14 AM ET on Mar 19, 2009
Share This: Technorati | Tag in Del.icio.us | Digg This
Previous: POTUS Events: California Dreaming | Next: Obama Explores Jobs of Tomorrow
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: JakeD | March 23, 2009 1:06 PM
Posted by: rrdn96 | March 22, 2009 6:57 PM
Posted by: JakeD | March 20, 2009 3:18 PM
Posted by: JakeD | March 20, 2009 3:10 PM
Posted by: JohnQuimby | March 20, 2009 12:59 AM
Posted by: nodebris | March 19, 2009 3:48 PM
Posted by: lclifton | March 19, 2009 1:46 PM
Posted by: mwhoke | March 19, 2009 12:57 PM
Posted by: arby1 | March 19, 2009 11:39 AM
Posted by: arby1 | March 19, 2009 11:26 AM
Posted by: LegalNurse | March 19, 2009 11:24 AM
Posted by: JakeD | March 19, 2009 11:16 AM
Posted by: scrivener50 | March 19, 2009 10:58 AM
Posted by: inewsmaster | March 19, 2009 10:23 AM
Posted by: scooterlibre | March 19, 2009 10:17 AM
Posted by: JakeD | March 19, 2009 10:08 AM
Posted by: smb1 | March 19, 2009 9:56 AM
Posted by: VJMachiavelli1 | March 19, 2009 9:27 AM
Posted by: getsix1 | March 19, 2009 9:15 AM
Posted by: xcharliex07 | March 19, 2009 9:08 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.