Congress Shells Out Up to $6.1 Million in Bonuses, CNN Report Shows

Jun 27, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
Congress and staff awarded with bonuses

The federal government has had its share of financial issues, including an impending shutdown earlier this year due to a lack of funds, but a new report shows members of the House of Representatives receiving a surplus in funds for staff bonuses.

According to CNN, Congress dished out as much as $6.1 million in bonuses to its staff with Democrats awarding staff with up to $3.1 million in bonuses and the GOP awarding its staff with up to $908,000. Various committees disbursed the remaining $2.1 million.

"These are congressional staffers getting bonuses while a lot of the constituents of the lawmakers are actually looking for jobs," Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense told CNN.

Despite many sectors of the federal government straining under financial woes and lawmakers from both parties calling for mass cuts in order to reduce the $1.5 trillion deficit, there are defendants of the bonuses.

Democratic Congressman Jim Clyburn released a statement in defense of the bonuses. 

"My staff worked extremely hard, spending very long hours on the Hill including quite a few all-nighters and many weekends," Clyburn's statement read. "I was fortunate to have a dedicated staff, and I rewarded them with an end-of-the-year bonus that came from the remaining unspent funds allocated to my office."