They call DC “the Cocoon” for Good Reason, while Americans suffer high unemployment, Home foreclosures, and financial ruin, Members on the Hill fortunes continue to clime. The top Fifty members of congress are worth almost 1.4 Billion. We wonder if the Stimulus was directed more toward themselves than toward the average American. Here to hoping for 30 percent unemployment for Congress in November!
The Hill’s annual review of lawmakers’ financial disclosure forms.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) tops the list for the second year in a row. His minimum net worth was $188.6 million at the end of 2009, up by more than $20 million from 2008, according to his financial disclosure form.
While the economy struggled through a recession during much of 2009 and the nation’s unemployment rate soared to 10 percent, the stock market rebounded, helping lawmakers with large investments. The S&P 500 rose by about 28 percent in 2009.
Total assets for the 50 wealthiest lawmakers in 2009 was $1.5 billion — that’s actually a nearly $36 million drop from a year ago. But lawmakers reduced their liabilities by even more, cutting debts by $120 million last year.
There are various reasons why asset values dropped. Some lawmakers saw their real estate holdings fall as the housing crisis intensified. A handful of lawmakers also had other investments or businesses that turned sour.
The only newcomer to the Top 10 list is Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who came straight in at No. 5. He replaced Rep. Harry Teague (D-N.M.), the 10th wealthiest member in 2008. Teague fell off the top 50 list after the value of a company he has a stake in — Teaco Energy Services Inc. — fell in value from $39.6 million in 2008 to at the least $1 million in 2009.
There were a few other new faces in the Top 50, including Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), who received an inheritance after his late father, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), died in 2009.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) also made the list.
Twenty-seven Democrats along with 23 Republicans make up the 50 richest in Congress; 30 House members and 20 senators are on the list
Three Republicans and seven Democrats made up the top 10 slots,
Here are the top ten, along with their estimated worth.
1. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.): $188.6 million
2. Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.): $160.1 million
3. Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.): $152.3 million
4. Sen. Jay Rockefeller ( D-W.Va.): $83.7 million
5. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas): $73.8 million
6. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.); $70.2 million
7. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.): $56.5 million
8. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.): $53.5 million
9. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.): $49.7 million
10. Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.): $46.1 million