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10 richest members of Congress

By Kay Bell · Bankrate.com
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Posted: 4 pm ET

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who for the last few months has dedicated himself to finding a link between the Obama White House and the Internal Revenue Service's scrutiny of Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status, is back in the news.

This time, though, it's not his tax-related tenacity that's getting attention. It's his personal wealth.

Darrell Issa

Darrell Issa is the richest member of Congress.

Issa is the richest member of Congress, according to The Hill's latest analysis of lawmakers' wealth. Each year, the Capitol Hill newspaper compiles a list of the 50 richest representatives and senators. The lawmakers' minimum net worth is based on financial disclosure forms that members of Congress must file each year. Those reports, however, provide only value ranges instead of exact figures. Still, the documents give us a rough idea of how much each public servant pockets.

In the latest accounting, 37 representatives made the list, with the remaining 13 coming from the Senate. Overall, and for the third consecutive year, more Republicans than Democrats made the wealth cut.

Issa is No. 1

Issa, who serves as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, saw his fortune increase to $355.4 million in 2012, enough to take the crown. Before coming to Washington, D.C., Issa was a co-founder of Directed Electronics, the maker of the Viper anti-auto-theft system. Now, says The Hill, most of Issa's wealth is kept in large investment funds. And his current bottom line was helped by eliminating some debt. According to the newspaper, Issa no longer shows around $100 million in personal notes and loans as liabilities on his financial disclosure forms.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, was bumped from the top of the Capitol Hill richest list. McCaul is now second, with a net worth of "only" $101.9 million. While most of us would take that relatively paltry amount in a New York minute, it's a $200 million drop from McCaul's value last year. The reason for the reduction, says The Hill, is that McCaul opted to report his wife and family's holdings differently in 2012.

Coming in third this year is Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. He's worth $88.5 million. The former Virginia governor co-founded the company that later became Nextel and has continued to invest in tech start-ups. He also had no debts to report.

A familiar name when discussing wealth came in fourth, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. The great-grandson of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller is worth $83.8 million. Did refinancing help Rockefeller's bottom line last year? Maybe. The Hill reports that Rockefeller's wealth increased slightly from 2011 after a mortgage held by his wife on their New York condo fell by a half-million dollars.

Taking the fifth spot is newcomer Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. The first-term Democrat from the Constitution State counts trusts and real estate investments, including office buildings, apartments, warehouses and shopping centers, as part of his $76.6 million net worth.

The rest of the rich

Rounding out the top 10 are Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., worth $68.4 million; Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., worth $60.2 million; Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., worth $44.7 million; Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., worth $41.6 million; and Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, worth $35.9 million.

And who is the poorest, relatively speaking, member of Congress?

Eking onto the list in the 50th spot is Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., with his net worth of $6.5 million.

***

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Veteran contributing editor Kay Bell is the author of the book "The Truth About Paying Fewer Taxes" and a co-author of the e-book "Future Millionaires' Guidebook."

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100 Comments
Gail
August 29, 2013 at 1:56 pm

John Kerry's money belongs to his wife. His income comes from the government.

Betsy
August 29, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Dem or Repub. it doesn't matter. Its all about how much money to maintain the status quo.

Peter S.Mulshine
August 29, 2013 at 10:36 am

How was the $100,000,000 in PERSONAL loans forgiven??Who Loaned him the money??What was it for??Was it paid off or was it a PAYOFF??/

DOUG GOTT
August 29, 2013 at 10:07 am

THE DEMS ARE A JOKE OUR SO CALLED LEADERS A JOKE HE NOT GOING TO BE HAPPY TILL HE RUINES THIS COUNRTY. RICH DEMS THEIR A JOKE THEY SAY THEIR FOR THE PEOPLE THATS THE BIGGEST JOKE THEY HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT NORMAL PEOPLE . THEY SHOULD JUST GET OUT OF THE WAY . HEALTH CARES A JOKE ITS SOCIALISM . IM AN AMERICAN NOT A SOCIALIST GOD BLESS AMERICA IF YOU DON T LIKE GET OUT.

Sue
August 29, 2013 at 2:08 am

This tells you exactly why our system is broken. "Serving us" in Congress equates to being multimillionaires. SHAME on them. SHAME on us for allowing this.

Ty
August 28, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Martin, I agree that rich people know how to run the economy, but too many Democrats are "crony capitalists". They gained their wealth through personal connections with government officials. The kind of rich people I want running the economy are those who are self-made--not enriched by plum government contracts because of their connections!!

Robin
August 27, 2013 at 11:20 pm

I agree with Tony. I want to see the whole list of 535 members of congress. If number 50 is worth 6.5 million dollars who is real people in congress? I know of no one personally that is a millionaire so how are any of them representing the American people?

Martin Davis
August 27, 2013 at 4:33 pm

If 7 out of the top 10 are Democrats then they're the party I want running the economy.

Tony
August 27, 2013 at 2:21 pm

I don't understand this:

"Eking onto the list in the 50th spot is Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., with his net worth of $6.5 million."

Between the House & Senate, there are a total of 535. Who is #535?

Hugh
August 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm

If you care to check, 7 of the top ten are Democrats!!!