For First Time, Most Members of Congress Are Millionaires

More than half qualify, says new tally

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 9, 2014 6:15 PM CST

(Newser) – It isn't too much of a stretch to say that John Boehner now presides over a millionaires' club, reports the Center for Responsive Politics. Its analysis of financial disclosure forms reveals that more than half of the members of Congress qualify. Specifically, 268 of the 534 current members had a net worth of at least $1 million in 2012, up from 257 members (48%) the previous year. It's the first time in history that millionaires are in the majority.

Darrell Issa, who made a mint selling car alarms, is in the top spot at around $464 million. But before you feel too poor, consider the plight of Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif. He's in the last spot (again) with a net worth of a negative $12 million, thanks to loans for his family's dairy farm. USA Today and CNBC note a few other details: Real estate is the No. 1 investment vehicle for members of Congress; GE is the most popular stock pick for those who play the markets, with 71 members owning shares; and Democrats, with a median net worth of $1.04 million, are richer than Republicans, at $1 million. Also, senators are generally wealthier than their House counterparts, with a median net worth of $2.7 million, compared with $896,000.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is thought to be the richest member of Congress, with a net worth of about $464 million.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is thought to be the richest member of Congress, with a net worth of about $464 million.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)
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