Dodd: Treasury Officials Insisted On Weakening Bonus Provision

The disclosure should put to rest one aspect of the debate over how AIG was allowed to dole out $165 million in bonus payments.

The Treasury Department demanded that Sen. Chris Dodd insert exemptions into the stimulus bill that allowed bailout recipients to receive bonuses, the Connecticut Democrat said on Wednesday.

According to Dodd, officials at Treasury expressed concern that if the government were to prohibit payouts, it risked being sued by companies like AIG, which had contracts stipulating that bonuses were to be paid.

At the urging of Treasury officials, Dodd modified a clause he had previously inserted into the stimulus that prohibited bonuses from being issued by bailed-out companies. An exemption was added to allow bonuses that applied to in-place contracts.

"The alternative was, in my view, losing the entire section on executive excessive compensation," he said. "Given the choice ... I agreed to a modification in the legislation, reluctantly. I wasn't negotiating with myself. I wasn't changing my own amendment. I was changing the amendment because others were insisting on it."

Sam Stein is a Political Reporter at the Huffington Post, based in Washington, D.C.
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