No Senate Vote on AIG Bonuses Tonight

By Jennifer Parker

Mar 19, 2009 5:17pm

Senate Republicans will not allow a vote tonight on taxing AIG bonuses.

"Everyone wants taxpayers to get their money back," said a GOP leadership source, "but we’re in this mess because the Senate rushed through the stimulus in 19 hours. Someone’s got to be a grown up around here."

The Baucus-Grassley-Snowe Senate bill would tax the bonuses at a 70 percent rate, lower than the 90 percent passed by the House today

"I don’t believe that Congress should rush to pass yet another piece of hastily crafted legislation in this very toxic atmosphere, at least without understanding the facts and the potential unintended consequences," Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said today. "Franky, I think that’s how we got into the current mess."

GOP tax watchdog Grover Norquist suggested earlier that a vote in favor of taxing the AIG bonuses would be considered a violation of the Americans for Tax Reform anti-tax pledge signed by 34 senators, before details of the bill emerged last night.

But he later clarified his position, saying that while he didn’t agree with the AIG tax bill and urged tax pledge
signatories to oppose it, members didn’t break the pledge.

"It’s a phony, unconstitutional, cover your butt vote." Norquist
told ABC New’s Z. Byron Wolf.

So don’t expect any immediate action in — a pause that will give Senate Republicans and the White House time to figure out exactly how they want to handle this hot potato. 

–George Stephanopoulos

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