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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Why has Congress let emergency unemployment insurance expire for first time ever during a long-term unemployment crisis?

Maybe their wealth is insulating them from reality.

For the first time ever, the majority of congressmembers and senators — 268 of 534 — have more than $1 million in personal wealth, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The median net worth of a member of the legislative branch as of last May’s filing deadline was  $1,008,767 — up from $966,000 the year before. In 2010, the median net worth of an American family was $77,3oo — before the Great Recession, it peaked at $126,400.

Senators are significantly more wealthy on average than members of the House, even without multimillionaires John Kerry, who became Secretary of State, and Frank Lautenberg, who passed away last year. The median wealth of a member of the upper house is $2.7 million, compared to $896,000 in the lower house.

Little difference in wealth separates the two parties.


However, the richest man in Congress is in the House of Representatives. With a net worth estimated at $464,115,018, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is worth more than several hundred of his colleagues combined.

The two poorest members, Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) and Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), are both in debt.

This spreadsheet breaks down each member by minimum and maximum worth, as indicated by their filings.

The report also analyzes the members’ investments and found that most are putting their money into real estate, securities and investments, commercial banks, oil and gas and finance companies.

Despite the extraordinary wealth, members of Congress are still expected to spend three to four hours a day fundraising, as an average winning candidate for the House spends about $1.7 million on a campaign, while a victorious Senate candidate spends on average about $10.7 million.

Photo: stanfordsis via Flickr

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Lynda Groom

    Is anyone unclear just why our wonderful Congress seems unconcerned with the lives of everyday Americans? Talk about being out of touch with the real world.

  • Budjob

    These pigs are there for one reason and,It isn’t us!!!

  • Mark Forsyth

    Hey,what happened to the NORMAL National Memo page? This one sucks.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Here is what is really scary. Most of these folks became Millionaires after they were elected to Congress. Kind of says something, doesn’t it?

  • Howa4x

    This is why they oppose higher taxes on the wealthy. They are in conflict of interest and should disclose their wealth prior to taking part in any debate. they should recuse themselves from voting on any matters that directly affect them. These people have a lot of nerve opposing a raise in the minimum wage

  • charles king

    I have been talking about (critical Thinking) Who ? the hell is running the country,and Why? are they so rich and (90%) of the voters are so average. What? The hell is going on in America with our Democracy, I hear more about Plutocracy than I do about Democracy, have the Plutocracts sold off the peoples assets, and re-sold them to managements companies, Look out American’s because the carpetbaggers are selling off your assets. I was consecrating on the small towns USA but these people are in our congress and senate, Where? do you start and How? are the people going to get rid of these people With-out? a French Revolution. Thank You are the magic words in my book . I love You All C. E. King Check out Webster’s Plutocracy and its Risk To Democracy..