During an April 1 colloquy on executive compensation for TARP recipients, Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) asked Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank (D-Mass.) to clarify whether or not TARP recipients would be allowed to spend money on meetings, events and incentive travel programs.
“During the past few months, legitimate business travel for meeting, incentive and events travel has dramatically decreased, especially in my part of the country (in the district of Las Vegas),” Berkley said. “The decline is due in part because of the state of the economy, but also to a perception that Washington seeks to limit these legitimate business practices. This negative perception has created an environment where every business in the United States is beginning to question whether or not they should hold a meeting, event or incentive travel programs.
“As you know, Mr. Chairman, every canceled meeting or event means less business for the hotels, conference centers, restaurants [and] small companies across the country that cater to business travelers,” she added. “Hard-working middle class Americans … not the CEOs, are who ultimately will pay the price if companies continue to cancel business meetings and incentive travel.” She then asked Rep. Frank to assure the committee that those activities wouldn’t be restricted by current legislation or amendments to the proposed bill.
“This bill deals only with compensation, not with travel,” Rep. Frank replied. “Any incentive that was performance-based would be fully allowed. ” View the full exchange here.