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10 richest members of Congress

By Kay Bell ·
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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October 04, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Well of course when you look at the House and the rich Republicans in it. You know that even when the Republicans closed down the government, they will still get their pay checks each week, they will still be able to pay their bills, buy food for their families, and still be able to go to thousand dollars fund raises while the people of the United States of America struggle to make it day-to-day. Whatever happened to the government that was: For the People, Of the People, By the People? The Republicans are all about the vote and they do care care at all about the American people.

Steve Bert
September 29, 2013 at 8:54 pm

They will stand before the same God as the rest of us, a God who judges correctly, never makes a mistake, and is not impressed by how much or how little our dollar value is. If you were worth millions of dollars, what would you do; promote, advance, defend and enjoy the Kingdom of God here in America or would you use your wealth to promote sin/unrighteousness??

September 28, 2013 at 8:11 pm

We voted for them. What were we thinking? Next election, no millionaires!

September 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm

The article is misleading and should be corrected to explain that the fiftieth person on the list is not the poorest member of Congress.

September 19, 2013 at 8:32 am

Not 100% of Congress are millionaires. The article says Mike Kelley of PA is worth $6.5 million putting him on the bottom of the list of 50 richest. That ranks him 50th out of 535 total members, or still in the wealthiest 10% of Congress.

September 10, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Issa did not make his as a politician, I am confident.

September 10, 2013 at 11:20 pm

Easy to guess that Democrats make up the majority of the wealthiest political parasites!

With all their "redistribution of wealth" schemes it is no wonder the hypocrite pretend commie blood suckers have the most money! They "redistribute" the money to themselves !

September 09, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Poor members...
We need to pay more taxes to increase their salaries...
Do those human beings(or maybe not..) have a lil bit of common sense how to improve living/surviving level of the rest of those in 99% bracket?
It is a Shame for the Govt.,for the White House and for the President

now see whats wrong with the us
September 09, 2013 at 10:01 am

millionaires account for 1% of general us population, but 100% of congress if poorest is 6 million worth.....daa......and they are allowed insider trading , that they voted themselves.......where is the justice for american citizens, or is it just us

James burke
September 09, 2013 at 12:46 am

More than how much tell us how they got so rich