Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, introduced a bill that would levy a 50% tax on bonuses in excess of $25,000 paid to executives at companies that received aid through the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The bill's threshold is even stricter than that of similar legislation previously introduced by Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt. The revenue would fund a direct-lending program at the Small Business Administration. "If a big firm that received taxpayer help is now paying out massive bonuses, they should be able to help American small businesses expand operations and hire new workers," Brown said.

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