Six of Top Ten Richest in Congress are Democrats

Nancy and Paul Pelosi (Scott Roth / Invision / AP)
Scott Roth / Invision / AP
Newport Beach, CA

Although Democrats like to talk about unfair wealth inequality in America, six of the ten richest members of Congress are Democrats and the poorest member is a Republican.

The non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics published its annual review of changes in the net worth of Congress and found that at the end of 2014, the 534 members of Senate and House had a total net worth of $4.4 billion, up from $4.3 billion the year before.

The ten richest members of in Congress are Darrell Issa (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jack K. Delaney (D-MD), Mike McCaul (R-TX), Dave Trott (R-MI), Vernon Buchanan (R-FL), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) It took wealth of just under $100 million to be in the two-percenter club.

Democrat Representative Jared Polis of Colorado saw the biggest jump of any member of Congress in 2014. His wealth jumped by $171 million to $387,864,321.

The top 53 members controlled “80 percent of the estimated wealth held by all federal lawmakers in 2014.” This is actually more skewed than the United States as a whole, where the top ten percent of households control about 75 percent of all wealth, according to CNN.

A little over half of members of Congress saw their average net worth increase in 2014, but on average their median net worth rose about 6.7 percent to $1,098,508. That is still about 20 times more than the typical $56,355 of the average American family.

Senators on average have always been richer than members of the House of Representatives. The 2014 median net worth of a Senator was $2.9 million, versus $860,005 for a member of the House.

Members of Congress have not received a cost-of-living pay increase since January 2009, when “wages” were increased from $169,300 to $174,000. That still places all the Democrat and Republican members of Congress in the top 7 percent of wage earners.

The poorest member of Congress is Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), whose net worth is a negative $25 million, due to heavy indebtedness from trying to save his dairy farms. But Valadao is not alone: 20 members of Congress declared more liabilities than assets.