Administration, Congress seek to rein in exec pay - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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Administration, Congress seek to rein in exec pay

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WASHINGTON. - Some Democratic lawmakers are saying the Obama administration's approach to reducing executive compensation doesn't go far enough.

The administration rejects direct intervention in corporate pay decisions. Instead, it plans to seek legislation that would try to rein-in compensation at publicly traded companies through nonbinding shareholder votes.

Congressman Brad Sherman wants to do more. Instead of giving shareholders a nonbinding voice on pay, he says, their votes should be binding on boards of directors.

Republicans say the administration's plan goes too far.

Alabama's Spencer Bachus, the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, says, "We need to get government out of businesses."

In testimony today to the panel, a counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said administration guidelines call on all publicly held companies to link compensation to long-term performance, not short-term gains.

No. 2 House Republican compares Obama to Putin

The No. 2 Republican in the House is comparing some of President Barack Obama's economic policies to those of Russia's prime minister and former president, Vladimir Putin.

The House Republican whip, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, tells The Associated Press that Obama is micromanaging the auto industry to win points with Democratic allies and labor unions.

Cantor said Thursday that Obama's plans for the auto industry are, in his words, "almost like looking at Putin's Russia."

Cantor says the normal rights of secured creditors have been taken away and given to political cronies and the auto workers unions.

The Obama administration says that the roughly $80 billion in federal aid to the car companies, their lending affiliates and their suppliers gives automakers a chance to become viable and competitive.

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