U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today announced his support for a bipartisan amendment to prevent $12.9 million in taxpayer dollars from being awarded as bonuses to top executives at bailed-out government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The legislation comes on the heels of a bipartisan letter signed by Johanns to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), who authorized the bonuses, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The letter, signed by 60 Senators, implores FHFA to retract and revise the compensation packages approved for ten executives at the two companies which have received nearly $170 billion in bailout money since 2008 and remain under the conservatorship of the federal government.
"Awarding millions of dollars to officials who share responsibility for billions in financial losses is an offensive misuse of hard-earned tax dollars," Johanns said. "The amount of bailout money given to Freddie and Fannie since 2008 is nearly 50 times the annual budget of the state of Nebraska. To award millions in bonuses while housing and mortgage struggles continue and these companies are under the wing of the federal government is wrong."
Along with Sen. Johanns, the amendment was introduced in the Senate Monday with Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jay Rockefeller (D-West Va.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).