Study finds majority of Congress is filled with millionaires

For the very first time in the history of the United States Congress, more than half of all sitting members are millionaires, with California Republican Congressman Darrell Issa at the top of the list with a net wealth of $464 million, according to a new report from the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).

Using data from disclosure forms, the non-profit organizations discovered that at least 268 Congressmen and Senators had a net worth of at least $1 million last year.       In 2012, the number of millionaire politicians was 257, or approximately 48 percent.

Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats had a median net worth of $1.04 million, while Congressional Republicans maintained exactly $1 million. This is up from last year’s averages of $990,000 and $907,000, respectively. The median net worth for all members of the House of Representatives was $896,000, compared to the median net worth for all members of the Senate was $2.7 million.

The poorest member of Congress was California Republican Congressman David Valadao, who reported a net worth of negative $12.1 million. The second-poorest remains to be Florida Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings, who was charged with accepting a bribe while sitting as a federal judge during the 1980s.

Although the report didn’t lambast individuals for being wealthy, it did note that political candidates have to access a pool of money to run a legitimate campaign with an actual shot at winning the race. The group also stated in its report that these individuals debate issues that could be quite alien to them, such as unemployment benefits and minimum wage rates.

(Editor’s note: it is interesting to note that a lot of these congressmen and senators come from business backgrounds, but still believe in the power of the government and that it can solve all of our problems.)

“Despite the fact that polls show how dissatisfied Americans are with Congress overall, there’s been no change in our appetite to elect affluent politicians to represent our concerns in Washington,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center, in a statement Thursday. “Of course, it’s undeniable 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.”

Here are the richest members of Congress:

Darrell Issa (R-Calif) | $330,380,031  (minimum net worth) | $464,115,018 (average) | $597,850,005 (maximum net worth)

Mark Warner (D-Va) | $96,221,316 |  $257,481,658 |            $418,742,000

Jared Polis (D-Colo) | $69,791,412 | $197,945,705 | $326,099,998

John K. Delaney (D-Md) | $65,151,165 | $154,601,580 | $244,051,998

Michael McCaul (R-Texas) | $102,547,780| $143,153,910| $183,760,040

Scott Peters (D-Calif) | $27,518,090 | $112,467,040 | $197,415,991

Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) | $86,307,329 | $103,803,192 | $121,299,056

Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa) | $63,269,025 | $101,290,514 | $139,312,004

Vernon Buchanan (R-Fla) | $-58,149,853 | $88,802,066 | $235,753,986

Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) | $1,046,071 | $87,997,030 | $174,947,989

Here are the top interest groups:

Real Estate

Securities & Investment

Commercial Banks

Oil & Gas

Finance/Credit Companies

Misc Manufacturing & Distributing

Pharmaceuticals/Health Products

Computers/Internet

Automotive

Retail Sales

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