Report: Majority of Congress Members Are Millionaires

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(Photo Credit: CNN)

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — For the first time ever, more than half of current members of Congress are millionaires, according to a new report from the non-profit Center for Responsive Politics.

Among the 534 current members of Congress, at least 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or more for 2012, the CRP said, citing disclosure forms filed last year. A year ago, the total stood at 257 members, or about 48%.

The group said the new figure “represents a watershed moment at a time when lawmakers are debating issues like unemployment benefits, food stamps and the minimum wage, which affect people with far fewer resources, as well as considering an overhaul of the tax code.”

CRP executive director Sheila Krumholz said the data reflect the reality that “in our electoral system, candidates need access to wealth to run financially viable campaigns, and the most successful fundraisers are politicians who swim in those circles to begin with.”

This year’s analysis was complicated by a change in reporting rules that allows lawmakers to report the worth of high-value assets and income as simply “$1 million or more,” after previously requiring more specific values.

Rep. Darrell Issa of California, a Republican from California, remains the wealthiest member of Congress, with a net worth that averaged $464 million in 2012 stemming from his car alarm business.

Bringing up the rear is another member of the California House delegation, David Valadao, who reported an average net worth of negative $12.1 million based on loans to his family dairy farm. Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida also owes millions of dollars in debt stemming from legal bills incurred in the 1980’s after he was charged with taking a bribe while serving as a federal judge.

8 comments

  • tonyz@centurytel.net

    typical millionairs fighting against things in congress that will never touch their lives. Yeah Elect me for congress, so I can meet the lobists and see what kind of gifts of money and trips and things I can get to sway a vote their way. Right corrupt Washington, corrupt country!!! Democracy is going to hell in a hand basket because of the crooks that “are there for your best intrests” right. b….S…. I’m for kicking them all to the curb…That is if you can get them all there off recess. over paid under worked over bribed.

  • Dave Warner

    It urks the hell out of me that these very same politicians trip over homeless people on their way to work ( work? ) in Washington, yet vote against every single bill that would help the poor and the homeless, then go on never ending vacations and spend astronomical amounts of money enjoying themselves . After all, they have millions of dollars in which to spend on themselves.

  • Ike Lewis

    Take more of the money out of the Federal government by cutting taxes and services, and the number of millionaires, lobbyists and special interests will disappear.

  • ElusiveFacts (@ElusiveFacts)

    This is the way they are, I was just reading that the republicans want to help the Iraqi people, but is against everything that helps the American citizens. Unemployment, Obamacare, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, fair wages, alternative energy, jobs etc.

    • Dave

      Well, the Iraqi’s are new (but not our problem either). The other programs have been massively abused, much of which are not necessary, and just keep growing. Democrats want everyone to rely on the government, which in turn wants those who are republican and actually working to pay for the programs.

      Had to go there didn’t ya skippy.

  • Mark

    ONLY 51%?? The others must be too new so haven’t had the time with their investments yet. See, most people are not aware, but 60 Minutes even did an expose’ on it – members of congress are allowed to do insider trading. THEY wrote the laws stopping wallstreet members from doing it, as it didn’t look good for them to get rich while their investors lost (since they’d sell before the stock tanked, having intel on it coming), but congress is aware and FULLY allows themselves to do it. They know of investments, large real estate & marketing (strip malls, housing plexes, etc) developments, etc that are coming, so they buy in – or maybe even buy the land before the contract is awarded, so they get to sell the needed land at a lucrative profit…
    but it’s illegal on wall street, and you and I, the people they work for, never get such offers.

    It’ll never happen, but I wish congress would appoint a conflict-of-interest study on themselves by bonded, dis-interested parties, and have to follow the findings!

    Not in my lifetime, but the course they are on with themselves and this country makes the Titanic event have the Titanic never be built to begin with

  • Brian

    Mark nailed it. So few people know of this policy and others like it. Congress exempted themselves from Obama Care yet everyone else in the country have to participate. The motto for the good-ol-boys in congress, “come in with pennies, leave with millions”.

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