The 25 Richest Members of Congress

by InvestorPlace Staff | August 22, 2012 12:33 pm

[1]The Hill has released its annual rankings of the richest members of Congress[2], and for the second straight year, Republicans dominate the list.

Of the top 50 wealthiest lawmakers, 31 are from the GOP. Most of the richest members of Congress come from the House — 31 are U.S. Representatives, while 19 are senators.

Among the top five richest members of Congress, though, Democrats rule the roost. Three of the five wealthiest come from that party. The richest lawmaker, though, is a Republican — Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, has a net worth of $290.5 million. His money comes from several family trusts[3], and his father-in-law founded Clear Channel Communications.

McCaul’s wealth greatly outpaces that of the second-richest member of Congress, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. Kerry’s net worth was pegged at $198.8 million in 2011, mostly from his wife Theresa Heinz Kerry’s ties to the Heinz (NYSE:HNZ[4]) family fortune. Rounding out the top five are Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.; Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.; and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. Issa is the founder of car-security company Directed Electronics (NASDAQ:DEIX[5]), while Polis and Warner made their millions through shrewd investments.

The top 25 richest members of Congress are:

  1. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Tex., $290.5 million
  2. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., $198.8 million
  3. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., $140.6 million
  4. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., $91.1 million
  5. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., $85.9 million
  6. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., $83.1 million
  7. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., $80.1 million
  8. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., $56.9 million
  9. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., $47.2 million
  10. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Oh.,$36.7 million
  11. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., $36.5 million
  12. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, $31.8 million
  13. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., $26.4 million
  14. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., $24.8 million
  15. Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., $23.8 million
  16. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., $21.7 million
  17. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., $19.6 million
  18. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, $19.1 million
  19. Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif., $17.4 million
  20. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Penn., $14.9 million
  21. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., $14.6 million
  22. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., $14.5 million
  23. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., $14.3 million
  24. Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., $13.7 million
  25. Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-N.Y., $12.3 million

For more information on the richest members of Congress, and a complete list of the top 50 wealthiest legislators, check out this article from [6]The Hill[7].

— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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