Posted by: coastcontact | September 20, 2014

The Richest and Poorest Members of Congress

Are there any poor members of congress?  How do you define rich?

The Washington Post listed the top 50 members.  The poorest in the group has assets totaling over $6 million.

This data was complied by Roll Call ( based on reports that members must file.

The ten richest:

  1. Rep. Darrell Issa. The California Republican tops the list for the second year in a row, with a net worth of $357 million. Source of his wealth is not disclosed.
  2. Rep. Michael McCaul. The Texas Republican is worth $118 million, according to his financial disclosure. Roll Call says his wealth is connected to his wife, Linda, the daughter of the founder of broadcast giant Clear Channel Communications.
  3. Rep. John Delaney. The Maryland Democrat’s net worth soared 64 percent from 2012 to 2013, to nearly $112 million, financial disclosure forms show. He made his fortune as chief executive of two publicly traded finance companies.
  4. Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV. The West Virginia Democrat — and heir of oil scion John D. Rockefeller — had a reported net worth of $108 million at the end of 2013.
  5. Sen. Mark R. Warner. The Virginia Democrat made his pile in telecommunications. His reported worth was $95 million.
  6. Rep. Jared Polis. The Colorado Democrat, with a listed worth of $74 million, has a blind trust and investments in senior housing in Japan and the world’s only aquaculture venture capital firm.
  7. Sen. Richard Blumenthal. The Connecticut Democrat reported a net worth of $62 million, which includes real estate holdings in New York and in Brazil.
  8. Rep. Scott Peters. The California Democrat made his cash representing businesses and government agencies as an environmental attorney. His wife made hers at a private equity firm established by her father. Their net worth: $45 million.
  9. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The California Democrat and her husband, a private equity magnate, had a listed net worth of $44 million.
  10. Rep. Suzan DelBene. 2013 was a good year for the Washington Democrat, whose net worth rose more than 50 percent, to $38 million, primarily through the rise of Microsoft stock.

The ten poorest:

  1. David Valadao. -$4.10 million. Valadao, a California Republican who bears the dubious distinction of being poorest this year, actually lists more than $1 million in assets. The dairy farmer reports only three assets: his two family farms with a combined worth of at least $1.25 million and a bank account worth more than $1,000. His $5.35 million in liabilities are all farm-related, including a $1 million mortgage and multimillion-dollar lines of credit on the farm, its operating herd and animal feed.
  2. Alcee L. Hastings. -$2.23 million. A lawyer and former federal judge, Hastings is still paying off legal fees of more than $2 million that he incurred in a trial on charges of bribery while he was serving on a U.S. district court. The Florida Democrat was acquitted of the charges in 1983, but a federal panel later concluded he had lied and fabricated evidence. By 1989, he was removed from the court after votes by the House and Senate. He holds one other liability, a mortgage of more than $100,000 on his personal home that is comparable to the median home value for his district — $106,000.
  3.  Debbie Wasserman Schultz. -$1.04 million. The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Wasserman Schultz has spent most of her career in political office, starting as a state legislator in her home state of Florida. She has two mortgages with a combined worth of at least $750,000, plus $350,000 in home equity and personal loans. She also carried more than $50,000 in credit card debt in 2012. Her assets include a spouse-held $100,000 stock in the community bank where her husband works and several small bank accounts including college savings plans for her children.
  4. Howard “Buck” McKeon. -$943,000. Before Congress, McKeon helped operate his family’s now-closed chain of Western-style clothing stores. The California Republican owes more than $1 million combined on two mortgages for homes in his district and Alexandria, Va., and has only $67,000 in assets composed of bank and life insurance accounts.
  5. Rubén Hinojosa. -$808,000. A family business in food-processing that filed for bankruptcy because of the recent economic recession, according to the Texas Democrat, has left him with an arbitration award of at least $1 million owed to a creditor, an additional $250,000 in business debt, and $35,000 in city and county property taxes overdue from 2010.
  6. Steve Israel. -$795,000. Israel has a mixture of mortgages, credit card debt and assumed student loans from his children that make up more than $800,000 in liabilities. The New York Democrat also has a small bank account worth less than $1,000 and a retirement account worth more than $15,000.
  7. Mike Quigley. -$765,000. The Illinois Democrat has a mix of mortgages and credit card debt totaling more than $800,000. But he also has a college savings plan for his children and a pension left over from his service on the Cook County Board of Commissioners.
  8. Joseph Crowley. -$762,000. Democratic House Caucus Vice Chairman Crowley has $850,000 in liabilities from two mortgages and a home equity line of credit. The New York Democrat counts a small retirement plan and some college savings plans for his children under his assets.
  9. Pedro R. Pierluisi. -$674,000. The resident commissioner for Puerto Rico’s wife’s consulting firm is listed as an asset worth at least $1 million, but some multimillion-dollar mortgages on his San Juan homes drops Pierluisi’s net worth into negative territory.
  10. Chaka Fattah. -$650,000. The Pennsylvania Democrat has $800,000 in mortgages and home equity loans for three properties in the greater Philadelphia area. But he also has a state retirement account worth at least $50,000 and GE common stock worth at least $100,000.

While these members appear to be in the most dire straits on paper, an alternative calculation would peg the seven members who report having no assets as the poorest. These seven members are: Democrats Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, John Conyers Jr. of Michigan and Gregory W. Meeks of New York, and Republicans Rick Crawford of Arkansas, Duncan Hunter of California and Louie Gohmert of Texas. These members do not have enough liabilities to drop into the 10 poorest, but their net worths range from -$15,000 (Sinema) to -$610,000 (Gohmert).

Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan is the poorest member of the Senate, with a net worth of -$585,000. Fellow Democrat Mark Pryor of Arkansas is the senator with the smallest amount of assets; he has a bank account worth $1,000 to $15,000 and one for his children worth less than $1,000.


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