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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
Sibba Dixon
March 18, 2014 at 6:30 pm

When you're in a box buried, will you be able to take all your millions with you? So enjoy tour wealth now, what goes around, comes around,

RO
March 18, 2014 at 6:20 pm

I DO NOT CARE WHAT PARTY IT IS, WE HAVE PEOPLE STARVING IN THE us AND WHY IS IT THAT THEY GIVE THEMSELVES RAISES AND COST OF LIVING AND HERE THEY ARE TRYING TO TAKE AWAY FROM Our Veterans who fought for are so called freedom, now but the past did. I do not understand this, Have we really forgot what America stood for, our forfathers are turning in thier graves. The Govt in the white house should be ashame of themselves. I would love to challenge one to live on what we all are living on with out perks and go in and do thier job, they would not last i tell you.
Good grief.

CJ
December 10, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Interesting, most of the top richest congressman are democrats...... Three are republicans.....I thought republicans were the dirty rich people!!!! Also we see that Senator Rockefeller is rich and is the great grandson of the oil tycoon John D Rockefeller...... Hmmmmm the hypocrite party is the new democrat party!!!

gdg
November 17, 2013 at 7:22 pm

The Democratic party is the biggest bunch of hypocrites there every was. One of the biggest ways to develop wealth is trough Property and Business ownership. Yet they promote welfare programs to keep people on the govt dole. Those millions of people will never be able to obtain the wealth because they will never own property. They stay on Welfare and they teach their children to do the same. People need the ability to work. You can't work if there are no jobs. Hand outs promote people not to work. Hunger is inspirational.

webspin
November 11, 2013 at 10:33 am

Looking up the histories of these politicians, I see that all of the Democrats wealth was inherited, acquired from wife's family of involved being in a business that parasites from government control or ripping of the naive public. Healthcare, licensed broadcasting, gambling (i.e. commodities and stock trading). I figured no Democrat what with their twisted sense of logic could accumulate money in an honest open competitive industry.

Jeff
November 05, 2013 at 9:16 pm

It would be interesting to know who are the 50 least wealthy members of Congress.

Kathy
October 26, 2013 at 11:39 am

Hey John,
Counting Democrats was my first response too!

John
October 20, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Interesting.....SEVEN out of the top 10 richest Congress persons are Democrats. You know...that Political Party for the 'Little Guy'. Right! I don't love either party, but the Democrats are such hypocrites on the money issue. They are the Kings and Queens of gaining vast wealth AFTER they are elected, not BEFORE. Let's see.. the Clintons come to mind. Came in poor, now worth over $100 million dollars.

Bill Hannigan
October 18, 2013 at 6:35 pm

i am pleased Blumenthal is on the list ... always good to see Vietnam vets do well - err- wait a minute - oh yeah that was one of his many lies

babu
October 17, 2013 at 2:09 am

Does all these rich filthy rich Senators and House Reps pay their portion of taxes or evading them, ere there who outsource their wealth to Swiss Banks..