Congressional Members' Personal Wealth Expands Despite Sour National Economy

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Dave Levinthal, 202-354-0111

Center for Responsive Politics

Congressional Members' Personal Wealth Expands Despite Sour National Economy

WASHINGTON - Members of Congress are enjoying their own financial stimulus.

Despite a stubbornly sour national economy congressional members' personal wealth collectively increased by more than 16 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to a new study by the Center for Responsive Politics of federal financial disclosures released earlier this year.

And while some members' financial portfolios lost value, no need to bemoan most lawmakers' financial lot: Nearly half of them -- 261 -- are millionaires, a slight increase from the previous year, the Center's study finds. That compares to about 1 percent of Americans who lay claim to the same lofty fiscal status.

Of these congressional millionaires, 55 have an average calculated wealth in 2009 of $10 million or more, with eight in the $100 million-plus range.

"Few federal lawmakers must grapple with the financial ills -- unemployment, loss of housing, wiped out savings -- that have befallen millions of Americans," said Sheila Krumholz, the Center for Responsive Politics' executive director. "Congressional representatives on balance rank among the wealthiest of wealthy Americans and boast financial portfolios that are all but unattainable for most of their constituents."

The report details a number of aspects about congressional members' personal wealth, including who's the richest, who's the poorest and what investments lawmakers like most.

To read the Center's full report, click here.

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