Lawmakers Soften Opposition To Bonuses

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House lawmakers are softening their stance on denying bonuses to employees of bailed-out financial institutions.

The lawmakers are taking their cues from the White House, which needs Wall Street's help to get rid of toxic assets on banks' books.

A congressional panel is expected to endorse a bonus tax tomorrow. But the vote will be on legislation that is less severe than the 90 percent tax pushed by lawmakers angered by bonuses handed out by troubled insurer AIG.

The House Financial Services Committee's proposal would let Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and financial regulators decide if employee compensation was "unreasonable" or "excessive."

The proposal would not force AIG employees to give back money already paid to them. But it would empower the government to stop future payouts by financial institutions even if employees have been promised the money.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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