WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- A trip to a posh California resort by bailout beneficiary AIG drew the ire of a House panel chairman and a rebuke from the Democratic presidential candidate.
The insurance giant was rescued in September with an $85 billion federal bailout, and last week about 70 of the company's top performers were rewarded for their work with a week's stay at the posh St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, Calif., where the tab was $440,000, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
During a Tuesday hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform, chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said, "Less than a week after the taxpayers rescued AIG, company executives could be found wining and dining at one of the most exclusive resorts in the nation."
An AIG spokesman told the Post the gathering was planned before the bailout as a reward for life insurance agents and that fewer than 10 executives were present. The AIG group ran up a $23,000 spa services bill.
During Tuesday's debate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., sharply criticized AIG for the week-long spa event while discussing ramifications of the $700 billion rescue plan for the U.S. financial markets.
"And I'll tell you what," he said, "the Treasury should demand that money back and those executives should be fired."