In any list that includes the wealthiest individuals, you might expect a name like Rockefeller to crop up -- and it does, at No. 4 on the list of richest members of Congress. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, (D-W.Va.), descendant of oilman John D. Rockefeller, has a reported net worth of $81 million, mostly in trusts.
But a Texan, Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, claims the top spot on the list, with a net worth of $294 million, a whopping 299-percent increase from last year. McCaul's wife Linda is the daughter of the founder of Clear Channel Communications. Their dramatic rise in net worth is reportedly the result of a generational wealth transfer.
The list is the result of an analysis by Roll Call that examined the financial assets and liabilities members of Congress are required to disclose annually. Assets are reported in a range, rather than by exact amount, so total net worth is an estimate. Non-income-producing assets such as real estate don't have to be reported, but spousal income is included. Several in Congress who made the list, in addition to McCaul, attribute much of their wealth to their spouses, including No. 3 Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who reported a net worth of $193 million. Kerry's wife is Teresa Heinz Kerry, widow to a scion of the Heinz ketchup family.
No. 12 on the list, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), also reported a hefty rise (62 percent) in her net worth from a year ago, with $35 million this year. She and her husband Paul increased their investment in United Football League and two of Paul's California real-estate investments jumped in value.
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