Most Members of Congress Are Millionaires

For the first time ever.

House Oversight And Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa questions members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission during a hearing December 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. In October the four commissioners sent a letter White House Chief of Staff William Daley expressing "grave concerns" that NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko's deficiencies as a leader could compromise nuclear safety.
National Journal
Matt Berman
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Matt Berman
Jan. 9, 2014, 9:46 a.m.

Your mem­ber of Con­gress is not like you. Your mem­ber of Con­gress, most likely, is much, much rich­er than you.

For the first time, most U.S. law­makers are mil­lion­aires, ac­cord­ing to a new ana­lys­is from the Cen­ter for Re­spons­ive Polit­ics. At least 268 cur­rent mem­bers of Con­gress, out of 534, had an av­er­age 2012 net worth of at least $1 mil­lion. That’s just a tiny bit more than half of the total. The con­gres­sion­al me­di­an net worth was $1,008,767.

Con­gres­sion­al Demo­crats had a slightly high­er me­di­an net worth than Re­pub­lic­ans, $1.04 mil­lion to $1 mil­lion. It’s not like there’s been some kind of ma­jor, re­cent fin­an­cial sea change, though. The last ana­lys­is had those num­bers at $990,000 for Demo­crats and $907,000 for Re­pub­lic­ans.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, sen­at­ors on the whole are much wealth­i­er than House mem­bers on the whole: The me­di­an net worth in the Sen­ate was $2.7 mil­lion, com­pared with a $896,000 me­di­an net worth in the House. Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans are the ones who are truly rak­ing it in, with a $2.9 mil­lion me­di­an net worth.

As for the in­di­vidu­al wealth­i­est mem­ber? House Over­sight Com­mit­tee Chair­man Dar­rell Issa, R-Cal­if., has over­taken Rep. Mi­chael Mc­Caul, R-Texas, with an av­er­age 2012 net worth of $464 mil­lion, com­pared with Mc­Caul’s $143.1 mil­lion. Mc­Caul had been worth over $500 mil­lion in 2011, but he got bumped down due to a change in fin­an­cial-re­port­ing rules.

On the op­pos­ite side of the spec­trum is Rep. Dav­id Valadao, R-Cal­if., the least wealthy mem­ber of Con­gress. He had an av­er­age net worth of neg­at­ive $12.1 mil­lion in 2012, due to loans for his fam­ily’s dairy farm.

The av­er­age U.S. house­hold had a net worth of $539,500 in 2012, ac­cord­ing to the St. Louis Fed.

You can see the full 2012 fin­an­cial break­down here:

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