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US to recover bonuses

TREASURY Secretary Timothy Geithner told congressional leaders that the United States will recoup executive bonuses paid by American International Group Inc as outraged lawmakers raced to take back such payments from all companies getting federal bailouts.

Geithner, who has come under fire from Congress over the AIG payments, said in a letter to lawmakers on Tuesday night that the government will recover the money by requiring it to be repaid from company operations and deducting the amount from the next US$30 billion in aid being provided to the insurer.

He also said that the government will work to accelerate the "wind down" process of restructuring AIG, Bloomberg News reported.

The senior members of the Senate Finance Committee from both parties proposed taxes totaling 70 percent on bonuses at AIG and other companies getting federal money during the US financial meltdown. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi directed committees there to draft several alternatives and said her chamber may consider a bill as early as this week. Other lawmakers introduced their own plans.

"Millions lost their jobs; it's an outrage that the people who somewhat caused this problem are now paying themselves bonuses," Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, said on Tuesday in Washington.


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