Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) is taking some heat for his bill to ban bonuses and excessive compensation for any employee at any firm benefiting from government bailout dollars. In an interview Tuesday on the Fox Business Network, Grayson was grilled by a fired-up Neil Cavuto, who called the congressman "Sweden in a suit"and said "the Constitution never gave you the damn authority of telling anyone what they should make."
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Grayson blows off the criticism.
"A stuck pig squeals loudly," the congressman says. "I'm going after some of the biggest crooks in the country and they're fighting back through people like Neil Cavuto."
Grayson's bill, the Pay for Performance Act, passed the House yesterday. He argued in an op-ed on the Huffington Post Wednesday that the bill would put an end to "theft" on Wall Street, "which is apparently the only place in the world where you can steal from the taxpayers and then bill them for services rendered."
Cavuto criticized the measure by saying essentially that it would give Treasury department bureaucrats the authority to arbitrarily set compensation at private companies, and he criticized Grayson for not offering a range of what would be acceptable or unacceptable compensation.
Grayson is flabbergasted by Cavuto's beef.
"These are government owned banks. Is anybody upset that some bureaucrat sets compensation for people who work in the State Department or the Department of Transportation? Why are they complaining when we're trying to put some kind of break on this vomiting of taxpayer money?"
The Chamber of Commerce dislikes the bill as well, saying in a Tuesday letter to House members that the legislation would discourage participation in the recently announced Public-Private Partnership Program, would "foster uncertainty in business dealings" because it would abrogate previously-established contracts, and that compensation limits "would make it difficult for companies to retain much needed talent."
Grayson dismisses the Chamber's arguments, saying to the Huffington Post that the bill wouldn't apply to participants in the Treasury's toxic assets program, noted that "there's all sorts of crimes that are committed under cover of contract," and said he wasn't persuaded by the employee retention argument.
"I wish they would take their talent and practice their talent in Russia or China and bankrupt them instead of us."
Watch Grayson versus Cavuto:
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