The No. 2 Democrat in the House on Tuesday said hastily-crafted legislation imposing punitive taxes on executive bonuses has accomplished its mission even if it doesn't become law.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.) was reacting to an announcement from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo that 15 of the top 20 employees at American International Group have agreed to return their bonuses.
"I think, apparently, the House bill had its affect," Hoyer said. "They're giving it back."
Still, Hoyer defended the House bill as a success and the appropriate response.
"If you'll recall last week, what did I say? They ought to give it back," Hoyer said. "I don't think it was symbolic. It was real if it became law. Now, whether or not it becomes law is another question.
"If the money is returned," he continued, "the legislation may not be necessary."