Stimulus Passes with Surprise CEO Pay Cap

President Obama's $787 billion stimulus plan is now ready to be signed into law. The revised bill passed through the House early Friday without a single Republican vote, then the Senate with three GOP supporters after 11. Obama is expected to sign the bill at a public ceremony on Monday—but he might not be too happy that congressional Democrats included a measure (much stricter than the one the president revealed last week) limiting executive compensation at banks receiving TARP funds. The provision limits executive bonuses to one-third of their base salary, and mandates that such bonuses be issued in stock that cannot be redeemed until the government has been repaid. Unlike the Obama limit, the restriction forces all 359 banks that have already received TARP funds to comply by making them vote on either accepting the measure or returning the government funds. Also, at banks receiving more than half a billion dollars in bailout money, the restrictions will cover the top five executives and the 20 highest-paid employees. The new restrictions were written by Chris Dodd and opposed by Obama.