The Grandfather Clause

As everyone knows, Senator Chris Dodd (D-Bag, Connecticut) has one purpose in life, namely to be Ted Kennedy’s drinking buddy. But now we know that he has another duty, and that is to look out for the AIG executives that are his constituents in Connecticut. According to CNN

Senate Banking committee Chairman Christopher Dodd told CNN Wednesday that he was responsible for language added to the federal stimulus bill to make sure that already-existing contracts for bonuses at companies receiving federal bailout money were honored.

Dodd acknowledged his role in the change after a Treasury Department official told CNN the administration pushed for the language.

Both Dodd and the official, who asked not to be named, said it was because administration officials were afraid the government would face numerous lawsuits without the new language.

Dodd, a Democrat, told CNN’s Dana Bash and Wolf Blitzer that Obama administration officials pushed for the language to an amendment designed to limit bonuses and “golden parachutes” at those companies.

“The administration had expressed reservations,” Dodd said. “They asked for modifications. The alternative was losing the amendment entirely.”

On Tuesday, Dodd denied to CNN that he had anything to do with adding the language, which has been used by officials at bailed-out insurance giant AIG to justify paying millions of dollars in bonuses to executives after receiving federal money.

He said Wednesday that the “grandfather clause” language “seemed like innocent modifications” at the time.

“I agreed reluctantly,” Dodd said. “I was changing the amendment because others were insistent.”

That sounds a little bit like the Obama administration being thrown under the bus. One question is, who put in the “grandfather clause”? Yesterday, Dodd said that changes were made “in conference”. Today, he states that the administration (staff of the Treasury Department) pushed for the provisions to permit AIG to give out the bonuses, and that he changed the amendment.

Right now, Treasury Secretary Geithner seems to be taking a lot of heat. You could say that he was given a tax mulligan. He won’t likely get a “grandfather clause” mulligan if he has responsibility. His days may be numbered. Dodd’s should be too.

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