Senate GOP Blasts Obama Over AIG Scandal

Posted March 19, 2009 at 11:03am

Senate Republican leaders blasted the Obama administration on Thursday for blundering oversight of the financial industry and called for a series of hearings to explore the controversy surrounding executive bonus payments at American International Group.

“There’s a difference between campaigning for office and governing,— National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) said during a press conference. “We see an increasing disconnect between saying one thing and doing another.—

Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) blasted Democrats for taking a provision out of the economic stimulus bill last month that would have banned executive bonuses and demanded the Senate hold hearings before passing any legislation that would retroactively tax AIG and its top employees.

“Everyone in the administration seems to be pointing fingers at each other,— Kyl said. “We’ve got a crisis on our hands.—

The harsh rhetoric came as Obama is stumping through California to sell his budget, and he is slated to appear on NBC’s “The Tonight Show— on Thursday evening.

As they placed blame squarely on the White House, Republicans also berated Democratic leaders for rushing the stimulus package through Congress too quickly and not giving staff enough time to comb through the detailed measure.

When pressed on whether their own staffs should have caught clauses in the stimulus pertaining to executive bonuses, the GOP leaders maintained it was nearly impossible under such a short timeline.

“It’s physically impossible to go in the kind of detail of a complex bill with trillions of dollars and know what’s in it,— Cornyn said.