American International Group Inc. is putting formal efforts to influence government officials on ice.
AIG, New York, has decided to “suspend all lobbying activities in conjunction with a review of all AIG expenditures and activities,” company spokesman Joseph Norton says in a statement.
The review is being undertaken “to ensure that everything the company does goes to restore its profitability and return every cent of taxpayer help to the American people,” Norton says.
AIG lobbying team employees will stay on the company payroll while the company conducts the review, Norton says.
AIG spent $26 million on outside lobbyists from Jan. 1, 2006, to June 30, 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Washington.
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., Washington, spent about $22 million over the same period, and the Federal National Mortgage Association, Washington, spent $19 million.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., wrote Friday to AIG Chairman Edward Liddy to ask AIG not to use the emergency financing the company has received from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to try to ease new mortgage industry controls that were included in a housing bill they sponsored. Congress passed the bill in July.
“AIG has spent millions to lobby states to soften the licensing provisions, even after taxpayers loaned AIG more than $120 billion to prevent its collapse precipitated by excessive risk-taking,” Feinstein and Martinez write in the letter to Liddy. “We find it unconscionable.”