US to slap 'punishing' taxes on bonuses

American politicians have approved a bill to slap punishing taxes on big employee bonuses from firms bailed out by taxpayers.

American politicians have approved a bill to slap punishing taxes on big employee bonuses from firms bailed out by taxpayers.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “We want our money back and we want our money back now for the taxpayers.”

Republicans called it a legally questionable ploy to paper over Obama administration missteps.

Minority Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, 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.

The vote was 328-93.

The bonuses, totalling $165m, were paid to employees of troubled insurer American International Group, including to traders in the unit that nearly brought about the company’s collapse.

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