WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., joined a growing chorus of outrage against insurance giant AIG, introducing legislation this week to tax the company's controversial bonuses at 100 percent.
Blumenauer is one of several legislators with similar plans hoping to wrest the money away from American International Group, which has accepted more than $170 billion in taxpayer money in recent months.
Reports this week revealed the company recently paid a total of $165 million to dozens of its employees, even after getting bailed out with federal money to stay afloat. Lawmakers from all sides, including President Barack Obama, have since expressed anger over the move.
"I strongly support President Obama's efforts to pursue every single legal avenue to block these bonuses and make the American taxpayers whole," Blumenauer said in a released statement. "It's time for Congress to take action in holding these executives accountable and to increase oversight of these programs."
Blumenauer's plan would target any company that's received bailout money from the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. If any "highly ranked" employee gets a bonus after the company takes federal assistance, that person would face a tax of 100% percent of the amount, according to the plan.
Essentially, the employee would have to give the entire bonus back to the government.