This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, April 4, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Think airline executives made next to nothing last year? Think again. They still made millions apiece and now they're looking to Washington for another handout? My next guest says if they want the help, executives are going to have to pay the price. Joining us from Capitol Hill is Democratic Congressman Martin Sabo of Minnesota.
REP. MARTIN SABO, D-MINN.: Good afternoon,.
CAVUTO: Good afternoon to you, sir. So you don't think these guys aren't really making the sacrifices?
SABO: No, they aren't. But if they coming to Washington to ask for assistance because they are in deep financial problems, they are laying employees off, they're asking other employees to take significant salary cuts, my amendment simply says that their pay for this year should be the same as their base pay of last year. It is not the time for bonuses and big stock options.
CAVUTO: Now a lot of these CEOs, while they make a lot of money, Congressman, a lot of their pay is down from last year, still exorbitant, but it is down. So is it just not down enough?
SABO: Well, my amendment doesn't limit base pay to other than what their base pay was in 2002. I just think it is an inappropriate time to be having big bonuses, big stock options at a time they are asking everyone within their own company to take pay cuts or to lose their job.
CAVUTO: What do you make of the airline industry itself? Let's say take the CEOs pay out of the equation, sir. Do you think they have done enough to cut costs, the USAirs, the Uniteds, the Americans?
SABO: I am no expert on how you run airlines. They clearly had trouble before 9/11, 9/11, clearly complicated and had dire consequences for the airline industry. The war complicates life for them, cuts passenger travel. You know, and then we have another aide package quickly thrown together. I am supportive of doing something, but we need a good look at the airline industry, I don't think we want to be reduced only a couple of airlines. We want to have some competition. In many places there is not competition today. But they constantly seem to be in trouble and they always want to blame someone else. And it is somehow we have got to get a handle on it.
CAVUTO: Do we know what happened to all of the money we gave them already?
SABO: Well, I'm not sure if we have a direct accounting, but they were quite closely supervised and clearly they were having losses. They had major losses last year. And revenues are down. And they are losing substantially again. So, it is a case, I don't know that there are any good answers. But I think we have to respond to the crisis.
CAVUTO: Congressman Sabo, thank you very much.
SABO: Thank you.
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