Taxes Blog

Finance Blogs » Taxes Blog » 10 richest members of Congress

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.


Want the latest news on taxes, tax reform prospects, filing deadlines, political fights, Internal Revenue Service alerts and tax-saving tips? Subscribe to Bankrate's free Weekly Tax Tip newsletter.

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."

Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
October 16, 2013 at 3:27 pm

They are probably so wealthy because at some point in their lives they earned or inherited it and their wealth has nothing to do with the country, their jobs and how they do them or anything else. This world is filled with so many jealous and mewling children.

Al Dorman
October 16, 2013 at 12:05 pm

This article has serious issues. Edit or delete it now.

October 15, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Filthy Rich and Morally Bankrupt. Raise the debt ceiling, no problem, just print more money. Money for nothing that's the way ya do it.

Dorris McKinney
October 15, 2013 at 7:21 pm

There are a lot more rich demonrats that are not listed! Pelosi had enough money to buy votes for obamacare. Three fourths of the current politicians in DC need to be voted out.

October 15, 2013 at 10:05 am

Kay Bell, why don't you answer the comments above? Where is Nancy Pelosi? And why do you find it necessary to point out the difference between Democrats and Republicans in a negative light? And ignore the fact that 70% of the top ten are Democrats?


October 11, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Nancy Pelosi is morally bankrupt. That cancels out all of her wealth.

October 10, 2013 at 5:54 pm

why are they so richb and as a country we are so broke. They care about their own $'s and not ours collectively as a country. Seems like we need some congressman with some skin in the game.

October 09, 2013 at 11:35 am

Nancy Pelosi, my thoughts exactly....Why did they not list her. She's right in there with the rest of the rich politicians....

October 08, 2013 at 10:25 am

What I find interesting is that while the headline is "10 Richest Members of Congress," the author feels the need to point out that of the 50 richest members, there are more Republicans than Democrats. Meanwhile, the fact that 70% of the 10 richest members of congress are Democrats is not pointed out.

Georges Boirges
October 07, 2013 at 10:08 pm

What happened to Nancy Pelosi? She's one of the wealthiest politicians in Congress.