Saturday, January 11th 2014 - 08:13 UTC

US congress becomes 'club' of millionaires: Democrats slightly wealthier than Republicans

For the first time, half of the members of the US Congress are millionaires, according to a wealth analysis. At least 268 of the 534 politicians in the Senate and House of Representatives had a net worth of 1m dollars or more in 2012.

The richest member is Republican congressman Darrell Issa with a net worth of 598 million dollars

 Democrats were slightly wealthier than Republicans, found the data from the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) at OpenSecrets.org.

It comes as politicians debate national jobless benefits and the minimum wage. The median net worth for Washington politicians came in at one million dollars according to data. Democrats registered a median wealth of 1.04m while Republicans had 1m.

Senators ranked higher than members of the House in median wealth, with 2.7m versus 896,000 dollars in the lower chamber.

The wealthiest member of Congress was Republican Congressman Darrell Issa. The Californian reported a net worth of up to 598m, earned largely through sales of a car antitheft system.

The poorest member of Congress was also a California Republican, Congressman David Valadao. He listed debts upwards of $12m, largely stemming from loans on a family dairy farm.

As the US Congress suffers under some of its lowest approval ratings in history, “there's been no change in our appetite to elect affluent politicians to represent our concerns in Washington”, CRP director Sheila Krumholz told the AFP news agency.

Also necessary is wealth “to run financially viable campaigns”, she added.

5 comments Feed

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1 ChrisR (#) Jan 11th, 2014 - 09:40 am Report abuse
Anybody who cannot make a million out of being in Congress should be chucked out by the voters as being incompetent because all politicians everywhere are self-seeking narcissists.
2 Anglotino (#) Jan 11th, 2014 - 10:30 am Report abuse
Paupers compared to China's politicians.
3 Captain Poppy (#) Jan 11th, 2014 - 12:44 pm Report abuse
They are millionaires before getting there. GW is rolling in his grave, though was was a multi-millionaire in the context of his day. However, he knew what service to his country meant and resigned so as not to forget his new born country was a democracy and nothing else.
State Senators and Representatives is where one sees more of the ordinary Joe's serving in Congress.
4 Stevie (#) Jan 11th, 2014 - 02:21 pm Report abuse
Becomes? In USA, it's an initial requirement...
5 Devonian (#) Jan 11th, 2014 - 03:12 pm Report abuse
The two things Americans are obsessed by are money and guns and it appears that this has been the case from the early colonial days, through Independence and right up to the present time. As someone mentions above, in his day, George Washington was the wealthiest American alive at the time of Independence and most of the other independence leaders weren't far behind him. If you want to find out more about how it is has all come about then have a read of Howard Zinn's “A People's History of the United States”. It makes for very intersting reading.

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