Rep. Alan Grayson, the Florida Democrat who wrote the bill, told me its basic message is "you should not get rich off public money, and you should not get rich off of abject failure." Grayson expects the bill to pass the House, and as we talked, he framed the issue in a way to suggest that virtuous lawmakers will vote for it, while corrupt lawmakers will vote against it.
"This bill will show which Republicans are so much on the take from the financial services industry that they're willing to actually bless compensation that has no bearing on performance and is excessive and unreasonable," Grayson said. "We'll find out who are the people who understand that the public's money needs to be protected, and who are the people who simply want to suck up to their patrons on Wall Street."
John Culberson of Texas is on the floor of the House, attacking Alan Grayson by saying that his bill to limit bonuses to TARP recipients is bad because the House rushed the Stimulus bill. Barney Frank is responding with shock -- Grayson's bill takes away the language that Culberson says "should not have been" in the stimulus bill.
These people are incoherent. They are going to vote against a bill limiting bonuses? Really?