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House passes bill taxing AIG and other bonuses
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-led House overwhelmingly approved a bill on Thursday to slap punishing taxes on big employee bonuses from AIG and other firms bailed out by taxpayers.
The vote was 328-93.
"We want our money back and we want our money back now for the taxpayers," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
The bonuses, totaling $165 million, were paid to employees of troubled insurer American International Group, including to traders in the unit that nearly brought about the company's collapse.
In all, 243 Democrats and 85 Republicans voted "yes" on the bill. It was opposed by six Democrats and 87 Republicans.
The margin of victory came despite sharp Republican attacks calling the legislation a legally questionable ploy to paper over Obama administration missteps.
Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the bill was "a political circus" diverting attention from why the administration hadn't done more to block the bonuses before they were paid.
However, although a number of Republicans cast "no" votes against the measure at first, there was a heavy GOP migration to the "yes" side in the closing moments.