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20 richest & poorest members of Congress: 2014

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Election Day is almost upon us and it got our sister site, ThinkAdvisor, wondering about how much our elected leaders are worth. We know that sounds like the start of a bad joke about the lack of meaningful work being done in Washington, but our thoughts are purely on finances.

In a report on the net worth of the 538 members of Congress, it turns out that our congressmen made out like bandits with their collective wealth increasing by at least $150 million over the prior year.

Congress being Congress, exact figures are hard to come by because their financial disclosures are made in wide ranges. Still, Roll Call, as it does each year, calculated the minimum net worth for each member of Congress, noting that their wealth is likely greater. The latest data covers 2013.

The figures show that more than a third of Congress could call themselves millionaires.

One wonders if the have-nots in Congress are at least a little jealous of their well-heeled colleagues. Those at the bottom of the net worth are actually in negative territory. Maybe that makes them better able to face the vast number of their constituents who have credit card debt, mortgages and tuition payments weighing them down.

You might be surprised to learn that Democrats dominate the list of richest members of Congress.

Here, is the list of Top 20 Richest and Poorest Members of Congress:

See also: The 10 wealthiest people in America

The 10 Richest Members of Congress:


(Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash. Photo: AP)

10. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash.

Net Worth: $37.89 million

First Elected: 2012

DelBene’s wealth, which increased $14 million over last year, comes from the sale of Microsoft stock. She and her husband, Kurt, were both executives at the software behemoth. Besides investments, they own a home worth $5 million, which was purchased in the last year.

9. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

Net Worth: $43.72 million

First Elected: 1992

Feinstein is married to Richard Blum, whose namesake, Blum Capital Partners, is invested in the Carlton Hotel chain and OZ fitness, among other businesses. He also backed former Vice President Al Gore’s Current Media, which was sold to Al Jazeera.


(Rep. Scott Peters. D-Calif. Photo: AP)

8. Rep. Scott Peters. D-Calif.

Net Worth: $45.04 million

First Elected: 2012

Peters’ wealth was steady, rising less than 1 percent from a year earlier. His wealth has two main sources. First was his work as an environmental attorney handling matters for businesses and government. Second, is his wife’s income from heading Cameron Holdings, a private investment firm. His only liability was a mortgage of between $500,000 and $1 million.

7. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

Net Worth: $62.06 million

First Elected: 2010

Blumenthal’s net worth comes from real estate holdings and investments resulting from the wealth of his wife, Cynthia, the daughter of Peter Malkin, who made a fortune in New York City real estate. Blumenthal first reported that his net worth dropped more than $20 million over the last year, but an amended filing might lower that figure.


(Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. Photo: AP)

6. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.

Net Worth: $73.56 million

First Elected: 2008

Polis has done well investing in companies like Uber, a fund that backs senior housing in Japan, as well as real estate investments. Polis listed $6 million in liabilities.

5. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

Net Worth: $95.1 million

First Elected: 2008

Warner made his fortune as a venture capitalist in energy, real estate and telecommunications. His fortune dropped by a million dollars over the last year. He listed no liabilities.


(Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. Photo: AP)

4. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

Net Worth: $108.5 million

First Elected: 1984

Rockefeller’s name is a big hint as to where he derived his wealth, which is held in three blind trusts. He listed two liabilities: a $500,000 mortgage and a $5 million demand loan from a bank.

3. Rep. John Delaney, D-Md.

Net Worth: $111.92 million

First Elected: 2012

Delaney’s wealth soared from about $68 million over the last year. The richest Democrat in Congress made his fortune from two companies he founded: HealthCare Financial Partners and CapitalSource. Both companies loaned money to small firms. Delaney made more than $500 million from the sale of HealthCare Financial. He continues to hold a stake in CapitalSource. He listed liabilities of between $1 million and $5 million.

darrell issa

(Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. Photo: AP)

2. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas

Net Worth: $117.54 million

First Elected: 2004

All of McCaul’s worth is in the name of his wife, Linda, the daughter of the founder of Clear Channel Communications. His money is invested in stocks, bonds and other vehicles. He lists one liability, a joint mortgage with his wife of between $500,000 and $1 million. Roll Call notes the home loan is the only thing on McCaul’s forms in his own name.

1. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

Net Worth: $357.25 million

First Elected: 2002

Issa’s wealth is invested in seven high-yield bonds worth at least $50 million each. His money was originally made from Directed Electronics, a maker of car alarms he founded. Issa listed liabilities of $75 million in the form of two personal loans.

The 10 Poorest Members of Congress:


(Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La. Photo: AP)

10. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La.

Net Worth: -$671,000

First Elected: 2008

Scalise’s liabilities of $675,000 come with an asterisk, according to Roll Call. That’s because he refinanced $300,000 worth of mortgages during the year. Financial disclosure rules make it appear he has about twice as many liabilities as he actually carries.

9. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa.

Net Worth: -$700,000

First Elected: 1994

Mortgages were the culprit in dragging down Fattah’s net worth, with $800,000 borrowed. Fattah did report assets of more than $100,000 in the form of his wife’s investment in GE.


(Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill. Photo: AP)

8. Sen. Martin Heinrich. D-N.M.

Net Worth: -$722,000

First Elected: 2012

Mortgages totaling $850,000 left Heinrich in the red.

7. Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill.

Net Worth: -$780,000

First Elected: 2008

Two mortgages and $80,000 owed to credit card companies weigh Quigley down financially.


(Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo. Photo: AP)

6. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo.

Net Worth: -$848,000

First Elected: 2004

A mortgage and two loans, one for $1 million, are Cleaver’s chief liabilities.

5. Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, R-Calif.

Net Worth: -$924,000

First Elected: 2012

Roll Call noted that that more than half of Rohrbacher’s debt was in the form of a mortgage that was paid off in 2013, but was still required to be reported on financial disclosure forms.


(Sen. Howard “Buck” McKeon, D-Calif. Photo: AP)

4. Sen. Howard “Buck” McKeon, D-Calif.

Net Worth: -$943,000

First Elected: 1992

Mortgages and a personal loan are the reasons McKeon landed in the bottom 10.

3. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

Net Worth: -$972,000

First Elected: 2004

Two mortgages and credit card charges add up to negative net worth for the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.


(Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif. Photo: AP)

2. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla.

Net Worth: -$2.23 million

First Elected: 1992

More than two decades ago, Hastings was impeached while a federal judge and the legal bills have left him in debt.

1. Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif.

Net Worth: -$3.7 million

First Elected: 2012

The good news for the man at the bottom of the list is that he managed to lower his indebtedness by $400,000 in the last year. Valadao does have considerable assets in the form of a diary farm worth more than $1 million. Liabilities tied to the farm drag his net worth to the bottom of Congress.


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