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Congressional millionaire club

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Posted: 6 am ET

At a time when Americans are experiencing a widening income gap, a new report shows that for the first time in its history, a majority of members of Congress had a net worth of at least $1 million in 2012.

Congress building © rabbit75_fot - Fotolia.com

A little more than half the members of Congress are millionaires.

Just over half, or 268, of 534 members of Congress (one seat was vacant) were millionaires, according to a report from the Center for Responsive Politics that examined disclosures filed last year. In 2013, 257 members were millionaires. The median net worth of the 530 members who were in Congress for the May 2013 filing deadline was $1,008,767, up from $966,000 the previous year.

"Despite the fact that polls show how dissatisfied Americans are with Congress overall, there's been no change in our appetite to elect affluent politicians to represent our concerns in Washington," the center's Executive Director, Sheila Krumholz, says in a statement.

But it takes money to get elected, she adds, noting that "it's undeniable that in our electoral system, candidates need access to wealth to run financially viable campaigns, and the most successful fundraisers are politicians who swim in those circles to begin with."

It might seem surprising to Democrats that overall, members of Congress from that party are wealthier. Median net worth of Democrats was $1.04 million, while Republicans had a net worth of $1 million. In both parties, the overall median wealth increased from a year earlier.

In the Senate, however, Republicans were not only far wealthier than Democrats, but getting richer. Republican senators increased median wealth from $2.5 million in 2011 to $2.9 million in 2012, while Democrats reported a decrease in median net worth, from $2.4 million to $1.7 million. In the House, Democrats disclosed median net worth of $929,000, while Republicans came in at $884,000.

The richest member of Congress in 2012 was Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who made his estimated $464 million fortune in the car alarm business.

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Hugh Mangan
January 16, 2014 at 3:21 am

Stop them from giving all those BILLIONS of DOLLARS away that belong to the AMERICAN TAX PAYER and give to the AMERICAN PEOPLE where it RIGHTFULLY BELONGS END OF STORY. IT's our MONEY and WE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT IT.

Dave L
January 15, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Minimum wage start to finish. They should be doing the job for the PRIDE that comes with it not the PROFIT. Then when they are done the job, so is their pay. END OF STORY.

Robert Jordan
January 15, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Let me see..100 YEARS of republicRATS and democRATS and where do we find ourselves...LOOK around! We have done this to ourselves, "WE are RESPONSIBLE for this MESS"...NO ONE ELSE!
Any...EVERY time YOU VOTE for a republicRAT or a democRAT you vote to continue this FARCE of a Democracy!

Tim Smith
January 15, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Time to do away with Elected Officials salaries, retirement benefits and healthcare at Taxpayers expense.

guido rossano
January 15, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Career politicians and their off shore accounts... Do you have one?

Doing nothing isn't working.. Firemen don't watch the fire, they do

their best to extinguish it !!! Amen. guido.

ME Camacho
January 15, 2014 at 1:20 pm

And these are the people who argue against extension of unemployment insurance because "where is the money going to come from?" Take it out of their hides! Let's fire them all come next elections!

Peter Welshofer
January 15, 2014 at 12:17 pm

All must go! Take America back!

James Chillik
January 15, 2014 at 11:58 am

You wonder if the seed money comes from there pay checks,,,Remember the inside information that our accountable elected officals were prevy too. Now you can see how it pays, We never heard anything more about this ,,,, This also includes the President and first moma,,,, It will only end after we the people remove the corruption from goverment,,, STAND UP AND BE COUNTED,,,,Vote them out.