As anger over AIG's $165 million bonus package dominates the headlines, lawmakers and federal officials are trying to figure out how they were blindsided by news of the executive compensation deal over the weekend. According to the Washington Post, Federal Reserve officials were aware of the bonuses for months but failed to inform the White House until just days before they were due, leading to a last minute scramble to confront the issue. "I was stunned when I learned how bad this was on Tuesday [March 10]," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told the Post. "I shouldn't have been in that position, but it's my responsibility and I accept that." Fallout is also hitting Senator Chris Dodd, who is already facing re-election troubles at home due to his close ties to finance—a recent poll showed him in a virtual tie with likely opponent Rep. Rob Simmons. Dodd yesterday admitted that he had inserted language into the stimulus bill allowing for the AIG bonuses to go forward.
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