President Donald Trump is by far the wealthiest member of the U.S. government, with an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion. While Trump is far from the typical U.S. politician, he is not the only extraordinarily wealthy government official. Most U.S. members of congress are millionaires.
24/7 Wall St. identified the wealthiest members of the U.S. Congress using maximum net worth estimates from Opensecrets.org, a data clearinghouse maintained by Washington D.C.-based nonprofit research group the Center for Responsive Politics. The center is funded primarily by individual contributions and institutional grants.
Eighteen of the 25 are members of the House of Representatives and the rest are senators, and the wealthiest members of congress are fairly evenly split between the two major political parties. Thirteen are Republicans, and the wealthiest person on this list is a Democrat.
Most senators, representatives, and other government officials are paid an annual salary of $174,000, not enough to account for net worth figures in the hundreds of millions for many Congress members. These representatives accumulated their wealth both before and during their careers in politics. Many of the politicians on this list started and ran successful businesses, and many of these used their acquired wealth to springboard political careers. When they leave office, some of the individuals on this list will be able to leverage their status as a former high-ranking government official to net lucrative speaking engagements and find seats on corporate boards, adding to their already substantial wealth.
Nineteen of the 25 richest members of congress were elected for the first time less than 10 years ago. Four have served for more than 20 years.
All 25 individuals on this list possess investments valued in the millions. Using asset disclosure documents, we identified the broad sectors in which each of these representatives have made the largest investments.
The finance, insurance, and real estate sector account for the largest set of investments made by 19 of the 25 wealthiest members of Congress. The energy and natural resources, communications and electronics, miscellaneous business, health, and transportation sectors represent the largest investments made by the remaining representatives.
To identify the 25 richest members of Congress, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed maximum net worth estimates from Opensecrets.org, a data clearinghouse maintained by Washington D.C.-based nonprofit research group Center for Responsive Politics. Only current U.S. Congress members were considered. To calculate net worth, the center added a lawmaker’s range of assets and subtracted his or her range of liabilities. The value of investments grouped by broad sector also came from the center’s aggregation of disclosure documents.
Lawmakers are only required to disclose the value of assets and liabilities within a range. Various types of holdings are also exempt from disclosure laws, including the value of a primary residence, personal possessions that are not held for investment purposes, and retirement accounts. So it is difficult to determine the exact net worth of our representatives. Many of these wealth estimates may very well be considerably higher.