House Republican Chairman Mike Pence appeared on MSNBC today to comment on AIG bonuses and question the provision that allowed them in the recently signed stimulus bill. The 1,100 page document was criticized by Republicans for its length and the little time allotted for politicians to read it thoroughly. Since it was reported that AIG big wigs received $165 million in bonuses, after the company was given massive amounts of federal government bailout money, outrage has ensued in Washington and around the country.
Pence wants Americans to know that Republicans do have an alternative and that they are just as outraged about the bonuses as Democrats.
"We were commmitted to a bill that woud actually require AIG to recover not 90% of these bonuses but 100% of these bonuses before one single dollar of bailout money could be given to them in the future. This bill today was constitutionally questionable and quite frankly a transparent attempt by Democrats in the House to paper over the fact that a last minute change in the stimulus bill to the Senator from Oregon -- Senator Wyden's -- language, made these bonus payments possible," he said.
Pence emphasized that Americans "have a right to know who changed the language in the stimulus bill."
On MSNBC, Norah O'Donnell rolled to a clip of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying the language in the stimulus bill "never came to the House side" but Pence quickly capped that argument.
"Virtually every Democrat voted for it with the language that allowed these AIG bonuses to go forward," he said. "It seems to me the excuse of many Democrats on the floor today was 'don't blame us, we didn't read the bill we voted for.'"
O'Donnell asked Pence if he would support the resignation of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Pence responded that "we need answers before we call for his resignation."
See the clip here: