Four months after I wrote Sens. Chris Dodd, Joseph Lieberman and Congresswoman Rosa DeLaura, I received a response from DeLauro. Sort of the usual pablum but it does seem as if she read my letter. I did receive an acknowledgment from Dodd, but no more than "Yes, we received your letter..."
Going on five months of unemployment, I remain pessimistic. As a writer and editor, free lance seems to be the way to go. However, sites such as examiner.com pay pennies for contributions. And even jobs listed through various writing job boards won't pay for groceries. No wonder why the quality of writing is on the decline. (See my next post.)
Here's Rosa's response:
Dear Ms. Bahner:
Thank you for contacting me regarding our nation's economic crisis. I appreciate hearing your views on this critical issue. Like you, I believe increased oversight and accountability must be put in place.
Although many reforms were included in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, much more needs to be done. This has become especially evident with American International Group (AIG), a company that has received $182.5 billion in federal money, paying out $165 million in bonuses to its employees, including the employees whose decisions brought about AIG's near collapse.
To address this issue the Congress has considered legislation to correct and prevent the misuse of Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) funds. The House recently passed H.R. 1664, the Pay for Performance Act, which would prohibit payment of unreasonable or excessive compensation and non-performance based bonuses for companies while direct capital investments from the TARP remain outstanding. In addition, it restricts bonuses for executives and employees of companies that receive a direct capital investment under TARP. These restrictions would be lifted once a company has repaid the government. The House has also passed legislation that would impose a 90 percent tax on bonuses for AIG and other companies that have received over $5 billion in federal funds. Following the passage of this bill, a number of AIG executives returned their bonuses, including 15 of the top 20 AIG bonus recipients. I am pleased to inform you that I voted for these pieces of legislation when they recently passed the House. These bills now must be considered in the Senate.
During this difficult economic time, Congress must be relentless in reviewing the origins of this economic crisis and developing sound policies to benefit the American people and jumpstart the economy. You can be sure that I will continue to fight for measures that increase oversight and accountability. No taxpayer funds should be used to pay bonuses or other unjustified compensation to any executive whose irresponsible risk-taking brought our financial system to the brink of collapse.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. Please do not hesitate to keep me informed of your views on this or any other matter of importance to you.
Rosa L. DeLauro
Member of Congress