By Lisa Desjardins, CNN
Follow on Twitter: @LisaDCNN
Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.
Capitol Hill (CNN) – A CNN analysis of thousands of pages of Congressional expense reports shows that in the months leading up to the fiscal cliff (and potential, sharp budget cuts), nearly a quarter of the lawmakers in the House of Representatives gave their own office staff bonuses.
That money is itemized as “Other Compensation” in the more than 2000-page report.
Only a handful of members of Congress gave us statements defending the bonuses last quarter.
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-CA, wrote, “have a hard working, dedicated team… and I want to pay a salary that reflects their service.”
He said he only gives bonuses if there is “money left over” at the end of the year.