The report would highlight those countries where “governments, extremists and criminal groups seek to silence free expression.”
The act would also establish a grant program to help foster cultivation of independent media in those countries deemed to have repressive markets.
Sherman moves to tax excessive pay
Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman introduced legislation Monday that would tax executives of firms receiving major bailout funds for excess pay offered in lieu of bonuses.
A bill passed by the House of Representatives on March 19 would put a 90% tax on all bonuses paid to employees making at least $250,000 at firms that received money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, but it would not have any impact on salary increases that firms might choose to offer executives, instead of paying out bonuses, according to Sherman’s office.
Under Sherman’s plan, executives at firms that receive more than $500 million in bailout funds will be taxed 70% on any excess payments that exceed $1 million.
“My bill deals with all compensation, whether it is called a salary, bonus, retention payment, commission, employee of the week prize or whatever,” Sherman said in a statement. “Some will argue that a $1 million per annum cap on executive compensation is too low. For this reason, I allow the Treasury [Department] to permit bailed-out firms to give executives restricted stock,” he said, referring to an exception that would allow companies to compensate employees with company stock instead of pay increases.
The stock would be restricted, meaning that executives would not be able to sell it until the issuing company has paid off its debt to the Treasury Department.
Commissions for non-executive salespeople would be exempt from the surtax.
— Jason Wells and Zain Shauk