Earlier today, Reps. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ) introduced legislation that would direct Treasury Secretary Geithner to “recover AIG executive bonuses, increase transparency in bailout funds, and detail for taxpayers the communications between the Administration and AIG.” While Republican Leader John Boehner touted the legislation as the “two-pronged House GOP response to AIG revelations,” it seems to be a rehash of what President Obama is already doing to address the issue. As Obama explained yesterday:
In the last six months, AIG has received substantial sums from the U.S. Treasury. And I’ve asked Secretary Geithner to use that leverage and pursue every single legal avenue to block these bonuses and make the American taxpayers whole. I want everybody to be clear that Secretary Geithner has been on the case.
Greg Sargent writes that the legislation appears to be “an effort to position the Republicans as the ones who are leading a populist rebellion against AIG and are trying to wrest those bonuses back.” In reality, it appears that the House Republicans are just playing catch up.