WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWLP) – Congressman Richard Neal was in attendance at American International Group’s 100th anniversary party and it is causing some backlash.
AIG was given $180-billion so the insurance company wouldn’t collapse during the 2008 financial crisis.AIG hosted a party on Capitol Hill on Monday to celebrate its 100th year. The company faced widespread public outrage after the massive bailout by the government in 2008.
Their party was held in the hearing room of the House Ways and Means Committee. Congressmen Neal is the chairman of that committee. According to POLITICO, Neal “presided over the event” which has caused backlash.
22News spoke with Congressman Neal’s office, who denied him hosting the party. They sent us a copy of the invitation to show that AIG was responsible for hosting the party.
Neal’s team said he gave “brief welcoming remarks and only spoke for about 2 minutes.” His team said he was at the event for 20 minutes before leaving.
Neal has faced strong criticism from Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, who is currently running against him.
Morse told 22News it’s “insulting” for Neal to be at AIG’s event. “For the Chair of Ways and Means to open up a committee room not for everyday people, but for the top 1%, executives for AIG, I think it’s a slap in the face for people here in western Mass,” said the Holyoke mayor.
Neal’s office also told 22News that the hearing room of the House Ways and Means Committee is a public room which can be used by anyone.
That room and other rooms like it are often used for receptions like the one AIG hosted on Monday.