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Dems among top spots on list of 50 wealthiest in Congress

By Kase Wickman
Friday, August 19, 2011 15:20 EDT
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The old cliche of Republicans holding all the money isn’t necessarily true today: D.C. political publication Roll Call published their annual list of the 50 richest members of Congress Friday, and seven Democrats are in the list’s top 10 slots. Overall, 31 Republicans and 19 Democrats made the list.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) topped the list, proving that everything — including bank accounts — is bigger in Texas. His net worth of $294.21 millionlists no liabilities and his wealth ballooned 289.9 percent from last year. Some of his ballooning revenue can be attributed to monetary transfers within his family, Roll Call said.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) trails McCaul, with a net worth of $220.40 million. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), who topped last year’s list, now ranks third in wealth with a net worth of $193.07 million.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Sen. Richard Blumenthall (D-CN), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) round out the rest of the top 10, in that order.

Members of Congress are typically much wealthier than the constituents they represent. For example, the freshman class voted into Congress in 2010 held wealth that the Center for Responsive Politics estimated to be around half a billion dollars.

Sixty percent of 2010′s freshman senators were millionaires, and more than 40 percent of House members shared that acclaim.

About 1 percent of Americans can claim that kind of wealth.

Similarly, the members of the so-called Super Committee assigned the task of cutting $1.5 trillion from the national debt are much wealthier than the average American. The median wealth of the committee’s 12 members is $1.2 million, more than 13 times the net worth of the average American family. The committee members’ worths range from around $100,000 to about $238 million.

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
 
 
 
 
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