These five people all possess riches numbering in the tens of millions of dollars or more, making them the richest members of Congress, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics.
To tabulate each legislator's net worth, the CRP takes data from financial disclosure forms that members of Congress are required to file every year. But senators and representatives are required to report only ranges for the values of their assets, not exact figures. For example, one representative has stock in Ford Motor that totaled anywhere from roughly $2,000 to $30,000. Therefore, the CRP came up with three numbers based on these estimates: a possible minimum and maximum amount, and an average of the two. The CRP bases its ranking on that average. We have listed all three. The rankings are based on the average estimated net worth.
These numbers also do not necessarily include a lawmaker's primary home or vacation spots, according to a blog post on the CRP's website. Unless they collect rent on these properties, lawmakers are exempted from reporting these as assets, even if they are worth millions.
Thus these are estimates at best. But they provide an illuminating look into how wealthy many of the country's top political leaders are. The figures are from 2012, the most recent year available from CRP's data crunching. Click ahead to see who's the richest of them all.
5. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas
McCaul's wife has a stock portfolio worthy of a professional money manager. The assets section on McCaul's disclosure form for 2012 runs 32 pages and includes numerous stock investments, most of which are listed as his spouse's assets. Among them are many household names including Apple, IBM and Procter & Gamble.
McCaul had previously held the top spot on the CRP list, but more recent disclosure rules forced the organization to estimate his wealth more conservatively, according to a blog post on OpenSecrets.org.
4. Rep. John K. Delaney, D-Md.
Delaney is a freshman congressman who had a long and successful career in business before going into politics. He founded two companies before turning 40, according to his bio his congressional website. His first company was HealthCare Financial Partners, which loaned money to small health-care providers under-served by banks, and CapitalSource, which has a similar business targeting small and medium-sized businesses.
Now much of his household's money is invested in bonds, stocks, and various investment funds.
3. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.
Polis worked in his family's greeting cards business as a young man, eventually succeeding his grandmother as sales manager, and developing the company's e-commerce business, according to his congressional biography. He also co-founded a company that provided various Web access and hosting services, and founded ProFlowers.com, which was sold to Liberty Media in 2006. Since then, he has much of his vast wealth invested in a variety of investments, and, as of 2012, Polis disclosed partnerships or memberships in several investment companies.
2. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.
Warner was an early investor in the cellular technology industry and co-founded the cell phone company that became Nextel, according to his congressional biography. He and his family have holdings in a variety of investments.
1. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.
The wealthiest man in Congress also had a career in business before running for office. Issa served as chief executive of Directed Electronics, which was the nation's largest maker of vehicle anti-theft devices, and brought the Viper car alarm system to market, according to his congressional bio. Issa holds money in investment funds and real estate.
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