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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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You also can follow me on Twitter @taxtweet.

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
MO
September 07, 2013 at 10:20 pm

John Kerry is Secretary of State which falls under the Executive Branch of government. As for the others they most likely fall under the top fifty which is the other list he was referencing.

Cd
September 06, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Why not let the stupid homeless lead the democrat states since they want to use MY money to feed them and not there old democrat wealth. See watch happen wen a dumb @ ss liberal runs the nation,it turns to sh!!t.

Ernie
September 05, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Now I see why the rich get so many taxes breaks and the rest of us
pay the price. You don't get voted in to these offices you buy your way in. It's sad that we trust these people to run our country and all they feed us is a bunch bull@#*& so they can get richer!

Rex Bischoff
September 05, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Sato Velinquez eats beaners and nothing else. REX Bischoff

ann known
September 05, 2013 at 9:14 am

what happened to pelosi?she's up there(or did she hide her status?)

pv
September 05, 2013 at 8:00 am

Takers

pv
September 05, 2013 at 8:00 am

Takers!

JLS
September 04, 2013 at 6:56 pm

How did Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif ; make the list.?

She has been in the Senate all her life...a poor old

government employee... now worth 41 million?

J.D.
September 04, 2013 at 1:57 pm

What the heck? I counted 7 democrats and 3 republicans in the top ten. But some people only want the sound bite "more republicans than democrats made the wealth cut" and be able to connect it to the sound bite "The Top Ten." Why didn't the writer of this article include the sentance " Democrats outweighed Republicans in the top ten?" That's only what the article is claiming to be about, after all! How manipulative.

cc
September 04, 2013 at 4:17 am

Obviously, you forgot John Kerry, Barbara Boxer, Orrin Hatch, and a host of others close or within the top ten. Why?