Pilot Light: Coble, Hagan Oppose Bonuses
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and Congressman Howard Coble wasted little time this week when it came to expressing anger about the $165 million in bonuses paid to executives of the ailing American International Group.
Coble, ranking member of the House panel with jurisdiction over the nation's anti-trust laws, said Congress should keep all options on the table to prevent future bonuses similar to those paid out to AIG executives. He said the lack of guarantees against such bonus payouts is one reason why he voted against distribution of the second $350 billion payout from the Troubled Assets Relief Program, a $700 billion package passed by Congress last fall.
"I opposed releasing the second payment of $350 billion because I did not agree with many who warned the sky was falling," Coble said. "One of the things we were told that I just didn't believe was that the bailout money would not be used to pay executive bonuses. Now the question is how do we get our money back and prevent future payments, and for that there is no easy answer."
Coble is the top Republican on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy.
"My constituents pay mortgages on time, with interest, by a certain date. At minimum, AIG should be held to this standard," Coble said. "Furthermore, the decision to pay these bonuses demonstrates extremely poor judgment."
HAGAN -- Hagan, a Democrat and the state's freshman senator, said she was outraged.
"At a time when working families are struggling to make ends meet, this is atrocious use of our money and akin to adding insult to injury."
Hagan said the Senate should consider any and all proposals to get the money back and to make sure this does not happen again. Earlier this term, she co-sponsored a measure to limit executive compensation to $400,000 a year for companies receiving federal bailout money. This bill would assure that executives do not receive a bonus higher than the salary paid to the president.
HACKNEY-PELOSI -- State House Speaker Joe Hackney, in his capacity as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), heard an address by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a meeting in Washington, D.C., Wednesday.
After Pelosi's speech, Hackney held a press conference and told the media of discussions about possible partnerships between state legislatures and Congress.
NCSL is the bipartisan organization serving legislators and state staffers, commonwealths and territories.
Hackney, an Orange County Democrat, represents a district that includes a small part of Moore County.
CARTHAGE -- At a Monday meeting the Moore County Board of Commissioners approved two interlocal agreements with the town of Carthage.
One agreement authorizes the county's Department of Planning and Community Development to provide building inspection services to the town. The other agreement authorizes the county to provide assistance to Carthage with administration of the Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance.
Similar agreements for these services have previously been approved for the municipalities of Cameron, Taylortown and Vass.
CANCELED -- The county commissioners' Thursday night work session was canceled, according to a Wednesday notice from the clerk to the board.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at 947-4962 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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