House Bill Carries new TARP Exec. Comp. Curbs

April 2, 2009 ( - The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a measure limiting "unreasonable or excessive" executive compensation at firms taking federal bailout money.

A Wall Street Journal report said the bill, passed on a 247 to 171 vote, deals with new or existing compensation packages at firms receiving funds under the$700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) program. The bill comes in the wake of widespread voter anger at the executive bonus program at AIG, a recipient of federal bailout money.

“We will not sit idly by as money is being taken from the American people instead of being used to restore the confidence in this nation, as it was intended,” said Representative Michael Arcuri (D, New York).

According to the Journal, the new bill goes a step beyond earlier executive compensation limits by applying them to compensation packages approved before enactment of the stimulus bill. The measure’s curbs would last until firms repay rescue funds received from the federal government.

The news report said the measure requires bonuses and other “supplemental payments” to be given out based on performance standards set by federal regulators. The Treasury Department would develop the standards with the interagency Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council and the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel, the Journal said.

Approval of the bill comes after the House on March 19 overwhelmingly passed a bill that would put a 90% tax on bonuses for people who make $250,000 or more at firms receiving TARP funds.